Tested in the Furnace

Occasionally, I will read something that I like to pass on to you. This week, I’ll share a devotional thought from C.H.Spurgeon, a preacher from the 1800’s. He had these observations on the trials and tribulations that affect God’s people. The scripture used is the last part of Isaiah 48:10… “I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” (KJV uses chosen, instead of tested).

In these days of drought and instability in the markets, with political upheaval and a general feeling that things might be out of control, I believe we need these words of encouragement. Now, the idea of God testing us in the furnace of affliction is not something we want to hear, but there are positive things that come from this.

In the Old Testament book of Daniel, we find in chapter 3, that Daniel has three friends who are thrown in a furnace for refusing to worship the pagan king. The fire does not burn the three men, and the king, Nebuchadnezzar, sees not three, but four men in the furnace.

Now to Spurgeon’s comments: “Let affliction come. God has chosen me to be in it. If it is poverty, God is in the house already, and he has chosen me. Sickness may come, but I have a healing ointment–God has chosen me.

The fourth man in the furnace is understood to be Jesus. When we are in the furnace, he is beside us. In our quiet room, He sits there beside us. In poverty, in our lonely house, with its bare walls the Lord of life and glory is there, consecrating those walls. No matter the trial, whether it be poverty, illness, loneliness, or any other “fiery furnace”, the Son of God is there with His people.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

If you are a Christian currently undergoing trials of any kind, God has promised to see you through it. If you are not a Christian, let me share a word of testimony from a person who recently placed their faith in the Lord Jesus: “I still have the same problems and pressures I had before, but the burden is lighter.”

Praise God for His presence in the lives of those who love Him!

To Him be the glory,
Pastor Jerry

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