ISAIAH 48:10-11 – Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
THEME OF THE DAY. WHEN GOD TURNS UP THE HEAT IN OUR LIVES. If we are God’s children by faith in the Lord Jesus, we are going to feel the heat. God is going to “turn it up” in our lives often. Many trips to the furnace of affliction guided by the painful, but loving Hand, of our Divine Refiner will be made by the sons and daughters of the King. But don’t lose heart. These trips are signs of adoption not of displeasure. And when we make those trips, remember three things; God is loving, God is good, and God has purposes for taking us into the furnace of affliction. It is the latter statement we want to consider today – five purposes for the Lord turning the heat up in our lives.
The first purpose of being in the Refiner’s furnace of affliction is to remind us nothing in this life is about us. Of the Lord, Isaiah writes, “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it.” God will constantly bring us to places in life to teach us everything is about Him. Don’t forget the Bible opens up with “In the beginning God” not “In the beginning man” (Genesis 1:1).
Next, trips to the furnace of affliction remove the ugliness of pride remaining in us. God know pride is so destructive in relationships that He will do whatever it takes to purge it from us. And whatever it takes includes turning up the heat of suffering, pain, and affliction to do that work for it leads to humility – the nail on the coffin of pride.
A third purpose for the Lord taking us into the furnace of affliction is to empty us of self-sufficiency so we may experience the sufficiency of His grace. Suffering will take us to the end of ourselves and that is exactly where God wants, needs, and will take us. Right behind the sin of pride is self-sufficiency that draws glory to ourselves not Him.
Still yet another purpose of being taken into God’s furnace of affliction is to show us who really is in control. If you are a “control freak”, like the author of this nugget, get ready for the heat to be turned up in your life. God must show us we control nothing or no one. Not circumstances, not people, not spouses, not kids . . . nothing. And suffering will make that very clear to us.
Finally, and ultimately, God puts us in His furnace of affliction to burn away all the dross that tarnishes the beautiful image of Jesus shining from our lives. Always remember, we are God’s construction projects being made into the likeness of Jesus And we are serious works in progress so expect frequent trips to the furnace to keep that work going.
Yes, brothers and sisters, God turns the heat up in the lives of His children. It hurts but it helps us – a lot. Pray and learn to respond in attitudes and actions that please the One who sends us into His furnaces of affliction for always good purposes.
PRAYER: “Father, help me respond to the Refiner’s Fire of Your Hand with attitudes and actions pleasing to You.”
QUOTE: “To be placed in God’s furnaces of affliction are not signs of His displeasure but of your adoption in His family.”