The Fiery Furnace of Affliction
Yesterday, my family and I found ourselves, once again, in a new church. We’ve been searching for a place to worship permanently in our new city and it’s been a long four month road for us. We’ve found a few places and have met many quality people along the way, but our options here just do not have the feel of home and we’re still undecided. Being uncomfortable has become somewhat of a norm for us lately and so the fiery furnace of affliction licks its flames at our hearts. Affliction is meant in no sense of the physical nature, but more so in the sense of our spiritual and mental natures. Long story short, I believe God is testing us… What will we do? How will we respond? Will we Trust Him in faith? Because He is omniscient, He knows all things and how we will respond already: today and tomorrow. Meanwhile, it is our lot to seek and trust Him, knowing that we will plan our course and He will determine our steps.
I read something today by Paul David Tripp in my morning devotional called, “New Morning Mercies.” His words spoke to me profoundly. Tripp writes in the beginning of the December 19 devotional, “I know that, like me, you want the present to be a more comfortable destination, but it isn’t that. It’s an uncomfortable preparation for a comfortable destination.” The reading this morning was a lightning bolt moment for me and it carried over from our worship time yesterday. You know that God has His ways of speaking to us through others and especially through His Word, the Bible, and by His Spirit, our Great Teacher. This morning was no different and my eyes and ears were attentive. Thank God! The frustrations of our struggles are only temporary and He has not left us alone to endure them on our own. Believers have His Spirit, His promises, His presence, and the universal church. What more could we ask for? We have our families and friends and much more. So I tell you in the fiery furnace of affliction, whatever your furnace may be, be encouraged and count your help and supply carefully. My family and I are doing the same.
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