Can You Stand the Heat?

Foreword

When I wrote the draft of this yesterday, the entire thing was erased, despite me saving diligently as I wrote. I believe the enemy did NOT want this message to reach someone today. So in the midst of tears, I attempted to write it again, depending on God to remind me of the message he had revealed to me before.
Whenever you are trying to do something for God, the enemy steps in to try to destroy it. But to spite him, I will share it far and wide. May someone be encouraged through this word today. Please share it; you never know who could use a boost at this very minute. A blessed day to all.

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Recently, I was making favours for an event when it dawned on me that a bit of ribbon would add a nice finish. I almost immediately nixed the idea because of my past frustrations with curling ribbon.

Nevertheless, I dug around until I found the ribbon and got to work. It took me double the time it should have taken because I kept running the blade down the “wrong” side of the ribbon. But eventually, I developed the knack for it.

While working, I realized that the faster I moved the blade, and the more pressure I applied, the fancier the curl appeared.

Wow!

But I was scared to keep doing it.

I was so sure that I would damage the delicate ribbon. The fabric seemed so fragile.

Yet, to my surprise, it did not break, nor did it tear.

Over and over, I kept scraping the shape scissors hard across the ribbon, producing curl after perfect curl.

It made me wonder. Could it be that way with us and God?

Could it be that God is allowing us to face the pressures of life in order to perfect our faith and strengthen our reliance on Him?

Think about it.

Many of the world’s most precious stones and valuable metals are formed under intense heat and/or pressure.

In fact, when a refiner wishes to perfect his product, he puts it into fire again and again; and after every fiery encounter, he removes the undesirables until he gets it to the standard he desires for it.

How much more precious and valuable are we to our creator, God?

Consequently, He longs to do the same for us, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We are told by the prophet in Isaiah 1:25 ESV, “I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.”

I dare say that no one enjoys the refining experience. None of us runs headlong toward trials and troubles, at least not consciously. Most of the time, we are almost certain that we won’t survive; we are almost certain that we will break or tear.

But we’ve got to trust the Refiner, and we’ve got to trust His process. He knows what He is doing.

In the Old Testament, Job trusted the refining process even when he had no idea what was happening in the background.

Job 23:10 said, “When He has tried me, I shall come out like gold.” Although in the midst of severe suffering, Job trusted God to be working things out for his good.

What a lesson in faith for us!

As Christians, we know that we have a standard we should be trying to attain. At the same time, we should know that we will be unsuccessful on our own.

Furthermore, many of us cherish undesirable habits that can be melted away in the Refiner’s fire so we do all we can to avoid it.

We can’t straddle the fence folks. Either we hold on to our sin-stained rags or we put on Christ’s robe of righteousness.

So the next time it seems like the pressures of life are piling on, take comfort in this.

1. There’s a blessing to be gained from it.

1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT reminds us, “Even though you have to endure many trials for a little while, these trials will show that your faith is genuine…it will bring you much praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

2. God promises to be right there by your side.

1 Corinthians 13:10 GNT reminds us, “But God keeps his promise…at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it…”

Can we ask for anything more?

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May God bless you!

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