The Intense Heat of the Furnace

For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Gold melts at a temperature of 1,947 degrees Fahrenheit (Encyclopedia Britannica).  The intense heat of a furnace is necessary to refine gold ore and remove the impurities.  Without the fire, gold cannot be refined.  Without the intense heat of the furnace, gold cannot be melted and molded into a useful shape.  The fire is necessary.  So it is with the suffering we often endure.  Our affliction prepares us for something else (2 Cor. 4:17).

This verse teaches three important truths about suffering.  First, notice that our trouble is a “momentary affliction.”  Paul even calls it “light.”  Each day, hour, and minute of our lives is microscopic in comparison to the vastness of eternity.  No suffering lasts forever.  One day your trouble will end.  Second, notice that suffering “prepares us” for something in the future.  James reminds us that “the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:3 ESV).  Everything which happens to us can be used by our sovereign Lord for a redemptive purpose (Rom. 8:28).  Finally, notice that affliction cannot compare to glory.  If you knew that tomorrow morning you would receive a prize worth millions of dollars, what would you tolerate this afternoon?  A trial can be tolerated if it is viewed through the lens of eternity.

Your affliction is real, but so is the savior who can turn it into joy.  Ask God to give you a sense of His purpose in your life.  Remember that He is preparing you for something more, something greater, which only God can see right now.  Gold must be refined by intense heat.  The intense heat of the furnace has a purpose.  Let go and let God!

Visit the Daily Bible Verse page for more encouragement.