March 14, 2011

Trial by Fire

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- March 14, 2011

“This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.” Zechariah 13:9

A trial by fire purifies. We normally do not invite this or look forward to it as a tool of God’s purification. It is a call to intimacy and dependence on our heavenly Father. Satan’s desire is to drive us from God during our adversity, but God’s heart is to draw us unto Him, as life heats up. Indeed, fiery trials seem to never let up or give up.

One after another they crash against our faith. Like hurricane force gales and floods they wear us down and sometimes overcome life’s levies. Anguish and pain may currently overwhelm you. Life is not fun right now. People you trusted let you down. Your health is fragile. Your job is in jeopardy. You are in a trial and you feel you’re on trial.

However, the refining fires of heaven burn away pride and replace it with humility. Fear evaporates and is overcome by trust. God removes anxieties and replaces it with His peace. Refining fire is hot but you are not alone. Like Daniel’s three Hebrew friends, there is a fourth one with you in the fire—Jesus. He quenches the fiery darts of hell.

“He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25).

Christ’s care provides a cup of refreshing water for your parched soul. It is for the love of Jesus that you persevere. Be patient. Allow Him to complete His work of refinement. You will love deeper and forgive fuller. Hope is on the horizon and is already here, as Christ in you is the hope of glory. Hang on to your hope in Him and be made whole.

“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

The unlimited access to God is one of the many privileges for the follower of Jesus. You can call on His name and immediately you have His attention. Pray without ceasing. Cry out to the One who knows you the best. Let your lover—Jesus—love on you right where you live. Pain can polarize your relationship with God or it can galvanize it in intimacy.

Let ingratitude be replaced by contentment. Stare into the face of Jesus for He is kind. He understands your plight. He is walking with you and is working through you. Allow God to channel His fiery trials into your character refinement. People will come out and watch a fire burn for God’s glory. Trials are His time to shine, and He shines the brightest when the impurities are the least. Only Christ is left—He is all you need—He is all you want!

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Peter 1:6).

How does Christ want to refine my character during my trials and temptations?

Related Readings: Deuteronomy 7:19; Luke 22:28; 1 Thessalonians 3:3; James 1:2

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