One thing that has been going through my mind this week is one of the best lessons from the Daniel study. It is such truth that I believe was stored away in my heart for such a time as this. It is this:
When the people of God face fiery trials, there are always three basic scenarios:
- We can be delivered from the fire, which builds our faith.
- We can be delivered through the fire, which refines our faith. (1 Peter 1:6-7)
- We can be delivered by the fire into His arms, which perfects our faith. (Hebrews 12 1-2)
Of course, the common word, which I love so much, is the word "delivered." No matter what happens, as believers, we are delivered, whether it's on this side of the trial or the other. He will deliver us. He is our Deliverer. If He doesn't deliver me from it, then I must have to go through it. If I don't make it through it, then He must be planning to use it to deliver me home. This has been life-changing for me to think about with regard to possible scenarios in my life- travel dangers or any possible illness I might ever have.
But this week I've been able to take these principles a step further. I have seen first-hand the degree to which one person's perfecting fire is another person's refining fire. The "fire" that delivered Chris into the arms of the Father began an unprecedented "fiery trial" for my sweet sister-in-law. Oh, how we wish we could turn back time and somehow she wouldn't have to go through this. But we can't, and she must go through it. But she will make it through, and by God's grace her faith will be refined, resulting in "praise, glory and honor" for the One who endured the ultimate fiery trial on our behalf, Jesus Christ.
"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." Psalm 126:5