God’s Thoughts to Me
Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18, NLT).
It is being tested as fire tests gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold (1 Peter 1:7, NLT).
I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather I have refined you in the furnace of suffering (Isaiah 48:10, NLT).
Growing in Grace : The Refiner’s Fire
My black South African countrymen are all born musicians. Music and rhythm are an integral part of their DNA- structure.
When they sing together, their voices become an orchestra, playing the most melodious music. Adding any other musical instrument will just scar a perfect symphony, for their voices are all the instruments they need.
It reminds me so much of the slaves of the 18th century in America, singing together while working on the fields of the rich landowners before slavery was abolished.
Daniel Day Lewis has just won the Oscar for the best actor in the movie, Lincoln. It tells the story of his untiring, relentless efforts to abolish such a detestable practice.
I am reminded of their labouring together under a sweltering sun, singing to their Pappa their songs of lament, yet trusting in His goodness, love and provision.
Who can forget that symphony of their voices as they sang the beautiful song of the once slave-trader-turned-saint, John Newton’s, Amazing Grace.
Yet, those poor people knew suffering, but also that their Pappa was in their midst like He promised,” For He has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned His back on them, but has listened to their cries for help (Psalm 22:24)”.
I am again reminded how our Pappa uses suffering and adversity as the instruments to discipline His beloved children and will use even the worst suffering the enemy inflicts upon us to our advantage and good when we come to Him.
Nature often tells us the story of how grass and vegetation are the most luscious in the heart of the valleys.
In the same manner, our faith and trust flourishes in the Valley of Weeping. Our weeping becomes the instrument our Pappa uses to lead us to a place of refreshing springs where the autumn rains will clothe us with His blessings (Psalm 84:6).
We see how gold and silver are refined in a furnace, how abrasion polishes metal, how a pearl is formed in the seclusion of an oyster from a single grain of sand.
We see how heat strengthens and tempers steel and even how boiling water brings out the flavor of tea (Dr Rick Ferguson, The Sermon Index).
But we also see how the once barren trees are clothed in the most beautiful royal robes of splendor once the winter has passed.
And once we have gone through the refiner’s fire of suffering, we emerge like a butterfly arrayed in the colors of His love … His life … His glory. We are stripped of our old nature to be clothed in the splendor of His righteousness.
Then, and only then, are we released from the slavery of this world of darkness to live in the beauty and liberty of His eternal Kingdom of Light … to live in His Loving Embrace.
Much love xx