Sunday, July 28, 2013

Furnace of Affliction

"See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for My own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield My glory to another." 
Isaiah 48:10-11
Do you know what the definition of "affliction" is? I had a pretty good idea, but decided to see what the dictionary said:

Affliction: 1) a state of pain, distress, or grief; misery. 2) a cause of mental or bodily pain, as sickness, loss, calamity, or persecution.

The "furnace of affliction." We all have been there. Gone through periods of pain and suffering. Times when things just don't go well. We may wonder where God is or maybe ask more often, what is He doing? WHY in the world do we need to go through this? The answer is an answer we probably all know but need to be reminded of over and over and over again (at least I do).

To draw us closer to Him.

If we didn't go through trials and tribulations, periods in life that just don't make sense, why would we need Him? He tests us, just like He tested Abraham. My oh my am I glad that He has not asked me to sacrifice my son (or brothers or sister or nephews since I have no children at the moment) in order to test my faith. We serve a jealous God. A God who loves us unconditionally and wants us closer to Him. He knows we will only find peace in Him alone. We will try to find peace in other things. In our jobs, our marriage, our relationship, our finances, our children, etc. When the only One who WILL give us peace and joy is Christ.

This word affliction keeps coming up in scripture I have read recently. Do you think God's trying to teach me something? He is always trying to teach me something. Teach us something. We just need to stop and sit long enough to listen. To hear Him. I have not been doing this very well lately which is why I have been in such a sour mood. Rather than say "I trust You, Lord, even though I don't understand!," I am wallowing in self pity. And that is never a good place to be. Father, forgive me. Forgive me where I have fallen and failed time and time again. I am so thankful that Your grace is abundant. I have seen Your work and I know You are working now.

If you are going through a "furnace of affliction," know that God is there. He was there before, is there now, and will be there in the future. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is never changing, but always, always faithful. 

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." 
Romans 12:12

Faithful in prayer. The most important thing when we are going through trials is to fall on our knees before Him. And let Him lead us through.

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