I was reading in the Book of Sirach today, and though I've read this before, for some reason it stuck out to me.
Sir 2:1-5 My son, if you come forward to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for temptation. Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be hasty in time of calamity. Cleave to him and do not depart, that you may be honored at the end of your life. Accept whatever is brought upon you, and in changes that humble you be patient. For gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.
Be humble and patient, for it is in those times God is testing us. So odd I've never seen it before. This is echoed elsewhere, but I guess I just had it in my head that God tests us in general and then sees what happens. He's testing us when we don't want to be tested though!
It reminds me of a conversation I had a with a friend a week or two ago. We were talking about how various people may have an "excuse" to act the way they do; for instance, another friend is pregnant. She's never been difficult or mean or whatever, but we'd probably cut her some slack if she was. I realized then I don't want any slack! I asked my friend to call me on it if I was ever uncharitable while having my own issues, because that's still unacceptable. Our situation does not change the commanded response to others.
Pro 27:21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is judged by his praise.
There is apparently some discussion on how to best translate it, but the meaning is somewhat evident. How do we respond to praise? Are we humble? Are we pretending to be humble? :)
Anyway, I thought it was interesting!
Unrelated, I just got my copy of Preparing To Be a Help Meet and I love it! I'd read Created to Be His Help Meet before, but that was more for current wives. This book talks about how to prepare myself now to be a good wife later, with good thoughts on trusting in the Lord to find a good husband.