Isaiah 48:10 (ESV)
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
The great evangelist and teacher Charles Spurgeon had a plaque on his bedroom with the words written on it, "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."
Spurgeon, writing about the trials and afflictions that the saints endure, said, "It is no mean thing to be chosen of God." He continued, "God's choice makes chosen men choice men … we are chosen, not in the palace, but in the furnace. In the furnace, beauty is marred, fashion is destroyed, strength is melted, glory is consumed; yet here eternal love reveals its secrets, and declares its choice."
In the midst of trials and tribulations comes the burning question: "Why do the righteous suffer?" Some answer with theology, others with platitudes; C.S. Lewis offers a rhetorical, "Why not? They're the only ones who can take it!"
One friend suggests, "Suffering was the personal choice of God at the beginning of creation. [Revelation 13:8] If I want to know Him personally and intimately how can I not embrace it?"
Embrace your trial and the suffering involved, but only if you want a deeper relationship with your personal savior.
Dear Lord, we thank You for the trials that come our way. Help us to endure them and let them mold us to be the people You want us to be. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.