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Standing In The Furnace

Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10


I don't know about you, but when I first read those words I wasn't too enthusiastic about them. I mean a furnace? That's not your average fire, that's fire heated several times over, I don't know anyone who would voluntarily enter one, do you? Ok, so I'm not the only one out there who's raised an eyebrow at this verse, at least at it's potential application to my life .  If I'm honest, I'll admit that I'm pretty much a creature of habit, and being comfortable in my surroundings is my preference; I like to play it safe.
But sometimes playing it safe isn't all that it's cracked up to be, sometimes never trying new things is a lot like losing. Losing the possibility of what you could have achieved, or what might have been had you stepped out of your comfort zone. God is all about the new, for He says all who are in Christ are new creatures, the old things have passed away and behold all things are new. You see He can't do anything with our old hard hearts, He begins a work of refining us, transforming us, and one day you look around and you begin to see things, and people differently, and you begin to look more, and more like Jesus. It is a work, it is a good work, and not one God gives us to undertake, no He is the builder. And what is His chosen tool you might ask? It's the furnace of affliction. It's not an affliction to harm, to inflict pain, but it's an affliction to break down and remove the things that are harming you on the inside, and replace them with His love, His peace, His good plans for you. It wasn't until I was in my own furnace of pain, tests, and uncertainties, not until I reached the end of myself, with no one to lean on but Christ, and Christ alone that I understood that He was right there with me all along. It takes a dark night for you to appreciate the brilliant brightness of the stars. The furnace also purges and makes the gold pure, removes the impurities that can't always be seen on the surface. So for anyone who may be going through a furnace season in your life, just know that you are in the Potter's hand, and He who has begun a good work in you will complete it to perfection.

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