Life’s Furnaces

In some forms of smelting gold to purify it, it is heated in separate sequential furnaces. In other words, any impurity not filtered out by the heating of the first furnace was heated out by the second, and soon until the gold is pure.

That is basically true of one’s spiritual life. You think of furnaces in which your life has been. Consider these:

The furnace of grief. Loss is never desirable, but it happens. When it does, how do you react? Can you find God in grief? Is there a tendency to blame God or seek His condolence, the peace that passes understanding?

The furnace of an injury or illness offers an opportunity to find strength only God can afford. Do you rely on Him and trust His positive involvement or become hostile toward Him?

The furnace of the loss of or failure to get a desired job is one in which there is opportunity to find refinement. Only through faith in a loving God can we survive the grief and pain of loss.

Not only are these negative furnaces, blessings can also serve as furnaces. 

The furnace of financial gain often causes the flame in the furnace to get hotter. It is often a test to see if you can stand prosperity or does it take you further from the Lord.? Which prevails, God or greed?

The furnace of promotion. Does acknowledgment of your ability and resulting accolades cause you to focus on”the wonderful me,” and not God?” Ego often results in sweltering heat in the furnace.

Often we plead with God to change our circumstances, to turn off the heat, and it is not our circumstances He wants to change, it is us, and the circumstances are designed to do that.       

Many times we hope that God will change our circumstances, will calm the storms of life (and in a hurry, too!), and when it doesn’t happen as we hoped, we easily become despondent and even pessimistic.

In these and other furnaces there are blessings to be found. A loss is at times actually the removal of an impediment to spiritual growth. Losing often serves as a purifying factor in that constant good times often draw us away from God. Wait on the Lord. The gold coming from the last furnace could not be pure had it not gone through the furnaces of life.

Remember God said: “When the time came for me to show you favor, I heard you; when the day arrived for me to save you, I helped you.” (II Corinthians 6: 2 [GN])

We can live forty days without food, eight days without water, four minutes without air, but any furnace will consume us in an instant without faith in God. Express your faith , hope, and love for Him.

In all these things we can be more than conquerors.