In one of Tom Cruise’s newest movies, The Edge of Tomorrow, there is a line that gets repeated multiple times and really serves as the underlying plot as well as the big takeaway. Cage plays a soldier who winds up repeating a battle over and over… and over again, learning from his mistakes each time. His commanding officer, Master Sergeant Farell, tells him on the morning of every repeat that, “Glorious combat (is) the fiery crucible, where the only true heroes are forged.”
That line reminded me of another, from King Solomon, “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.” (Proverbs 17:3 ESV)
And sometimes, we have to go through the same battles repeatedly until we really listen and learn what it is that God wants to teach us. While God never tempts us with sin, He certainly allows us to endure various trials that act as a crucible where impurities and distractions are removed from our lives. And as Job concluded from the trials he endured, “But He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” (Job 23:10 ESV)
We don’t like to go through difficulty right now, but God’s perspective goes way beyond right now. He’s concerned with our character for all eternity to come.