Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Refining Fire

Thank you, thank you for those of you who have been praying this week. I know many of you have had similar experiences in your family or with someone you love. One phone call that completely rearranges a life. It is so very, very hard to see someone you love hurt so badly and that's where my heart has been this week. I have tried to remember to simply mourn with those who mourn rather than try to offer words (as if I had any anyway.) Is there really anything anyone can say at a time like this?

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


lrlwreath said...

Amen. A sad a amen, but a Great amen that we have hope. God is our hope and comfort. And no matter what He is there with us through it all.

I just finised the last daily study for Chapter 5, now I am on to watch Chapter 6 video (Lions Den).

I am enjoying this study so much. I find myself thinking about it, God revealing things to me as the days go by (not just when I am sitting there studying).


LeftCoastOnlooker said...

I just came back for an update.
We will continue to pray

On the Journey to Victory said...

Our church just finished this Bible Study. It's one thing when we learn these insights from someone else, but it a different world when we have to live and walk through what we learned.

I'm praying.