Entering God's Furnace1
“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts” (Proverbs 17:3)
Precious metals like gold and silver are refined and purified under intense heat and fire. The worthless dross and impurities are burned away. God does the same to the human heart. He uses the heat and adversity of life like a furnace, to test our hearts and refine us. This current global pandemic feels like a crucible and furnace; there is hardly one person on this planet or reading this post who is not feeling the intense heat of this situation. It has affected us all in a variety of ways. What is God doing? He is refining his children; he is purifying us so His “graces are even more resplendent” (Bishop Sanderson). He is burning away, through adversity, those idols of our hearts that we cling to so easily and leaves only Christ for the Christian to cling to. Just as Christ entered the furnace of suffering and came out more glorious than we could have imagined, so too the saint enters this furnace knowing God has His good and purifying purposes at work in us. He is testing your heart: What do you worship? What or whom do you love? What do you value most? In this fiery trial God is not destroying us, He is building us into the image of His Son. May your tested heart come out of this crucible clinging more to Christ!