We often hear how wonderful and amazing it is to be a Christian. On many levels this is true. But no one should believe, say or teach that the Christian life will always be rosy, happy, delightful and without adversity. Anyone who says, “become a Christian and life will be just wonderful all the time”, is lying and the truth is not in them.
Sometimes when one becomes a Christian, things can seem to go decidedly bad to worse. And it is not easy to understand or reconcile when on the one hand we hear how good, faithful and loving our God is, and on the other hand we face disease, a job loss, unexpected death of a loved one in tragic circumstances or when crushing experiences hit us full on.
It is my experience though, that God is always there with us, He feels our pain and He will never leave or forsake us. Sometimes He intervenes and yet other times, He seems silent on the matter.
It is during those silent times that I believe that our character is formed within us.
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.
The more refined we are to be, the more heat is applied. If we are just ‘silver’ then into the crucible we go…but if we are ‘gold’, most precious, into the furnace we go. Crucible, little heat. Furnace, incredible heat.
Each time we go into the furnace we always come out, more dross (impurities) have surfaced, scraped off and the end product, the gold, is refined to a new level of purity. The process is repeated many times…and each time there is less dross…and we approach a new level of purity and strength.
During the refining moments, we only see the heat, the fire, the stress of being in the furnace. If you are in one of those seasons right now, hold on to this encouragement:
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
For you will come out of the furnace.