Articles - Backlist

Diamonds are forever

Mr. Daniel Gan

3 August 2020

I am a DC Superman fan-boy. And one of my favourite scenes was when Superman held a piece of coal in his bare hands and crushed it in his fist to form a diamond. He then gave it to Lana Lang as an engagement ring. Now, to create a diamond from coal requires incredible pressure, 750,000 pounds per square inch, but the result is that something beautiful, something precious is formed from something ugly, something cheap.


The coronavirus pandemic has brought the global economy to a standstill, and our work and the way we work are affected. Families find themselves navigating new challenges from being confined together; churches find themselves limited to the digital space for worship, and leaders are starting to experience burn out from the constant changes. All of us are slowly but surely being squeezed, and we’re experiencing that pressurethat comes from different facets of our life, whether work, family, friends or church.


In the story of Job, God told Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job...a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Satan’s response in a nutshell is this, “Your man, Job, is a mercenary. You pay him with blessings, good health, wealth, comfort, joy, peace. Of course, he obeyed. Take all of that away, and he will curse you.” God allowed Satan to crush Job with intense pressure, and Job experienced a dark time of pain and suffering. He lost everything, and felt as though the only thing left was to die. What followed was a lengthy discourse between Job, his friends and God, where Job was insistent that he was without sin (Job 13:16).


But Job did sin when he justified himself rather than God (Job 32:1-2), and when he claimed that it does not profit man to delight himself with God (Job 34:7-9). Job’s sin was seen only when he was being put to the test. But praise be, Job never turned away from God, but he repented and confessed his sin (Job 42:1-6) and at the end of his life, he was more blessed than before (Job 42:10-17).


In times of crisis and intense testing, certain hidden parts of ourselves may surface which we may not see in times of peace. Crushed by the unforeseen circumstances of our lives, our hidden pride, our hidden anger, our hidden lust may start to seep out of the cracks of our soul. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and to purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).


So, as Christ cleanses all impurities from us, as we fully submit to God’s will in this process of compression, we who are ugly, cheap coals will be formed into a beautiful, precious diamond, multifaceted in the nature of Christ, reflecting God’s glory. Peter encourages us in 1 Peter 1:7, “so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” More precious than gold? Diamonds then… and diamonds are forever.



Mr. Daniel Gan