Into The Refiner’s Fire

This month on this program we are having a closer look at the problem of human suffering. We saw last time that suffering and death came into the world because of man’s fall into sin. Yet we also saw, ( I hope) that God in his infinite goodness and sovereignty pointed to the solution to the suffering that now seems to flood the world. That solution, is found in Jesus Christ and in his suffering to pay the penalty for our sin as a ransom on Calvary’s cross. “”There is a vast unbridgeable difference on how suffering, misery and death is seen and ‘digested’ by Christians and non-Christians. No doubt there are large numbers of people in the world who deny that tragedy, pain and suffering can have any positive, salutary effect . “”Yet there are many, including the churches that sponsor this program who maintain that “ Indeed, all things must work together for my salvation”. Is this 1some vain or foolish hope? No, it is the revelation of the Holy Spirit who used his servant Paul, the apostle, to write this down in Romans 8:28. Speaking of the great comfort believers have knowing that the Holy Spirit Himself intercedes for them Paul says, “””And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love !!him, who have been called according to His purpose. !”Much has been said and written about this verse. What I would like us to think about today is the fact that God often takes his faithful people and tries them, even sorely at times in order to purify them, and make them strong, spiritually and emotionally. For believers have been placed on his side and they are engaged in a spiritual warfare of no small proportions. They are called to fight the “good fight of the faith” as the bible calls it. ( 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7) “”It’s a hard battle that pits Christ’s true followers against all the forces of evil, including Satan, that arch-enemy of the Lord himself. It’s a battle in which even those veterans who have raised the banner of the Lord for many years have to be purified. That they might constantly look to Jesus Christ, their Commander in Chief. Surely this also means that they have to lay aside and overcome all kinds of personal temptations to quit the battle field and deny the faith. Satan would like nothing better.

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