Refining fire…



Scripture: Psalm 107:1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble 3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. 4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town; 5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. 6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.

Observation: This passage makes it clear that God’s people were struggling mightily. They were “hungry and thirsty, their souls fainted within them”. God eventually saved them from destruction, but he didn’t do so quickly. There was a time of suffering and crying out first.

Application: There’s a repeating pattern in the scriptures if you pay attention. God’s people get into trouble and God responds. But before the salvation of the Lord comes, there is often a time of suffering and perseverance. People are tested and pushed to their limits. The bible refers to these kinds of seasons as “refining fire”, using imagery from the world of metals. With gold, for instance, the metal is heated into liquid and the impurities (dross) skimmed off the top. What’s left is pure gold.

Trials and tribulations can function in a similar way for people. When we encounter long periods of struggle we realize the things we often depend upon make little difference. Our props in life (dross) fail us and we’re left with nothing but the Lord (gold). It’s then we realize that the Lord is all we need.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, no one likes seasons of suffering and difficulty – but they are a part of life. Today we pray for all those experiencing long, difficult seasons. Give us grace to turn to you and trust in your deliverance. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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