ISAIAH 43:1-2 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art Mine.

2. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. KJV

The scripture is not saying if you pass through the waters and walk through the fire but when. If we are not calling the shots and have given control of our lives to the Lord, you can be sure of the refiner’s fire. We are in the process of being perfected. That requires the furnace of affliction that nobody likes.

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will hear and answer them. I will say It is My people; and they will say, The Lord is my God. Amp.

We must endure the fire and the water if we truly want to be pleasing to the Lord above all else. There is a page in my Streams in the Desert Book that tells about how a blacksmith tests the metal. He places it in the fire and hammers it and then plunges it into the water. If it breaks and does not bend, then he throws it on the scrap heap to be sold for pennies.

There are times in our life when it seems that the Lord has departed and the devil has his way. This is are our time of testing and if we are not enduring the right way we have the possibility of being thrown on the scrap heap where He cannot use us. There are plenty of Saul’s and Eli’s who still have a place but their end is desolation.

If He says He will bring us through and we won’t be harmed in any way, then that is what we must believe, no matter how bad things get. Sometimes all we have to do is get alone with Jesus and tell Him what we need. He said in Zechariah 13:9 that I will hear and answer them.

We must come to Him the right way, not complaining or questioning His treatment of us. We must be thankful and positive in a bad and painful situation. We must let Him know that we know He will make this work for our good but that right now we are having a hard time seeing the good and we need His help.

He knows that we need His help. He wants us to know that He will be there for us in a great way. And there is only one way to find it out. I am sure Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not look forward to being thrown into the furnace. They must have had the right attitude because they were blessed with the Presence of the Lord. He was with them and He will be with us. And then we can be sure of a blessed afterward.

We must remember there is a right way to go through the fires of trials and affliction and a wrong way. He is good and does not change. We can always be thankful for what we do have and focus on the positive. He was our example on the cross. He was in great pain but never stopped trusting the Father to keep His promise to Him.

SUBJECT — AFFLICTIONS — CH SPURGEON

It is a blessed thing that when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason, is because trials make room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation.

SONG — HOLY FIRE — DRAW ME LORD — PAUL WILBUR

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