Refined in the Furnace

“As sure as God puts His children in the furnace, He will be in the furnace with them.” Charles Spurgeon


Let me just start out by saying I could totally plagiarise my entire devotional for yesterday’s entry.  It was convicting.  And that happens almost every day (if you are looking for a good devotional – “The One Year Devotional; Walk with God”- Tiegreen).

God’s word is even better…okay, way better.  But there is something about a good devotional that brings His word down to right-here-right-now in language that totally speaks to right where you are in life.  Amazingly (and sometimes a bit annoyingly) devotionals speak the truth of what we are facing.

I digress…

The conviction?   Where is my heart yearning when I am faced with a trial?  How far do I let my mind wander into worldliness?  If God keeps His promises…if God has a plan for me…if He is my refuge, strength, stronghold…then why do I get so entrapped in making my life more comfortable, more pleasing, more like ‘everyone’ else’s?  Why am I so quick to want to jump ship when the storm is starting to brew?  Is my faith only skin-deep?

But oh, He sees it coming.  I pray (ehum…beg).  I bargain. I deny.  I am anxious and sweating now.  I start planning my escape.  Acting as if He wouldn’t see or know of my plan B, C or even D, I become consumed with looking for the nearest exit out of this uncomfortable furnace.

It’s getting hot isn’t it?  Why is God not rescuing me?  Where is He?  Doesn’t He see me searching for the…  And then it hits me.  What am I searching for?  Him?  Or the world?

Truth be told, I can see God work in the big trials of my life (and believe me there have been plenty).   When I see no other alternative and only then am I quick to passionately seek His face.  It’s when I have minor set-backs, little annoyances that I look for the quick-fix way out.  Truthfully, waiting on God’s timing is not my ideal.

And that is precisely where FAITH steps in.  Faith says:

I must be careful to not believe the lies of the Deceiver (Matt 16:23).  God speaks truth.  Furnace or no furnace, He is what I seek.  He is where my help comes from.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lordthe Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Dear Father,

This life I call ‘mine’ is so far from that. Help me to remember this life is not about MY comfort, but about whatever brings You the Glory. Thank You for sticking with me in the furnace…for giving me the time I need to grow in You.  I love You.