The price of precious things
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
There are sometimes rare and beautiful wares brought into the market that are invoiced at almost fabulous rates. Ignorant people wonder why they are priced so high. The simple reason is that they cost so much to procure. That luxurious article labeled £75 was procured by the adventurous hunter, who, at the hazard of his neck, brought down the mountain-goat, out of whose glossy hair the fabric was wrought. Yonder pearl that flashes on the brow of the bride is precious, because it was rescued from the great deep at the risk of the pearl-fisher’s life, as he was lifted into the boat half-dead, with the blood gushing from his nostrils. Yonder ermine, flung so carelessly over the proud beauty’s shoulder, cost terrible battles with Polar ice and hurricane. All choicest things are reckoned the dearest.
And so it is that the best part of a Christian is that which was procured at the sorest cost. Patience is a beautiful trait, but is not worn oftenest by those who walk on life’s sunny side in silver slippers. It is the product of dark nights of tempest, and of those days of adversity whose high noon is but a midnight. For “the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Purity of soul is like purity in gold, where the hottest fires turn out the most refined and precious metals from the crucible.—Theodore Cuyler.
When other things are broken, they are nothing worth,
Unless it be to some old Jew or some repairer;
But hearts, the more they’re bruised and broken here on earth
In Heaven are so much the costlier and the fairer.
—W. R. Alger.
Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken oft-times in health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn and helpless, the Holy Ghost is seizing upon, and using for God’s glory. “The lame take the prey,” Isaiah tells us. God must have broken things.
“By reason of breakings they purify themselves” (Job 41:25).