the furnace of affliction.

“I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction,” (Isaiah 48:10).

Does not the Word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yes, is it not an asbestos armor, against which the heat has no power? Let the affliction come – God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayest stride in my door; but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayest intrude; but I have a balsam ready – God has chosen me. Whatever befall me in this vale of tears, I know that He has chosen me.

Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, his presence is both thy comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. “fear not, for I am with thee,” is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in “the furnace of affliction.”

– C.H. Spurgeon

This I share with you from my devotions. The words of Spurgeon spring forth a fountain of encouragement to my heart. As I face trials and struggles and persecution, I know that Jesus is not only with me, but God has chosen me to endure such hardships to strengthen my faith. I pray not that the fire to my feet passes quickly, but that I learn all that God wants me understand from this testing.

Similarly, I have had numerous friends share their burdens with me. My heart breaks for them. And I pass no judgement. I will continue to offer a listening ear and uplift them in daily prayer. But I am reminded of our frail humanity and our need for the world’s only solution, which is Christ’s redemptive work on the cross.

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