We’re all necessary to God’s plan, and He’ll call and equip us to fulfil our unique role in His kingdom. The Bible says, ‘Our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it’ (1 Corinthians 12:18 NLT). God sets a plan and a purpose for each of us, and when we spend time seeking Him, we’ll discover our assignment. We might think that once we know God’s call and are following it, we’re somehow entitled to have an easy journey to fulfil it. But that’s not often the case. We’ll still face setbacks, challenges, and difficult times – what sets us apart is our response to these things. Isaiah 48:10 says: ‘I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.’ Spending time in the refiner’s fire helps us build character, perseverance and endurance, and reminds us to rely on God’s strength during troubles, rather than thinking we can do everything ourselves. God allows us to experience the refiner’s fire because He wants to see how we react under pressure; how we respond to a ‘no’ when we want to hear ‘yes’; how we behave if we’re given a boring, basic job when we’re capable of doing much more. If we respond to God’s challenges with wisdom and patience, He can trust us with more. The refiner’s fire also trains us for dealing with the enemy’s attacks, as we learn to turn to God and depend on Him for help. The refining process might be uncomfortable, but we’ll come out of it stronger and better equipped to fulfil God’s plan. So when we face challenges, let’s try our best to be joyful and thank God for refining us for His kingdom.
Think about the last time you faced a challenge or setback. As you go through it, write down anything you learned about yourself and about God as a result of that challenging situation that you may not have learned otherwise.
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