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The Fiery Furnace of Trials

Thursday, October 22, 2009

by Dr. Paul Chappell

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

James 1:2-4

God's choicest servants are first molded through the fiery furnace of trials.

Someone once wrote the following poem about enduring trials:

He sat by the fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore.
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test
And He wanted the finest gold,
To mold as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems of price untold...

Trials are God's fiery furnaces that we must face in order to be used by Him. It is through the trials of life that we are purified of sin or any failures, and formed to be the vessel God can use. While enduring a trial is never easy, God gives us an explanation in our verses today for why we face trials.

First, God tells us that trials work patience. Patience is something that each Christian is constantly learning. We all face times when we must wait on God's plan, endure a life trial, or remain faithful through tough times. God tells us that trials are one of the best ways we can grow in patience.

Are you in a trial right now? Have you recently lost a job, come upon hard times financially, lost a loved one, or faced another one of life's trials? God's hope is that you would recognize the trial He has allowed in your life, and submit to Him. Faithfully trusting God through trials will develop patience in you.

While James 1:3 gives us a reason why God allows trials, James 1:4 commands us on how to treat trials. God tells us, "Be patient. Allow the trial to come into your life without running from Me." So often Christians see trials as punishment, but God tells us He has a plan for our times of hurting. Our Heavenly Father would never do something to hurt us, but He heats the furnace of difficulty just hot enough to burn the dross, or impurities, from our lives.

Patience is never easy to practice, especially while in a trial. As human beings, we want to know why we're facing a difficulty, what is causing it, and how we can get it to stop. But God tells us to let patience have her work; to submit to His plan and allow Him to mold us.

God's desire is that you would be a refined vessel, ready for His use. God wants to use you! But first He must subject you to His furnace of trials. This isn't a time to question God or run from Him, but for you to grow closer to Him.

Don't waste your time in God's furnace of trials. Don't succumb to the feelings of doubt, anger, and confusion. Trust God's working in your life, and ask Him to help you grow through the trial.

What trial are you facing today? Take time right now to submit to God's plan. Write down your trial-what you're facing, what feelings you have, and what solutions you have tried on your own. Now write out a prayer to God, giving Him complete control of your situation. Ask Him to use the trial to work patience in you and to draw you closer to Him. Keep that piece of paper so you are daily reminded that the trial isn't meant to hurt you but to grow you. Remember that God's choicest servants are first molded through the fiery furnace of trials.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org, paulchappell.com, or follow him on twitter.

Daily Bible Reading
Isaiah 65-66 | I Timothy 2