Tuesday, March 31 2009
Key Verse: Isaiah 48:10 “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”
1. Suffering Refines Man’s Character
V10 “Behold, I have refined thee, …”
Man’s character is of utmost importance to God. God has made man in His image. However, as a result of man’s disobedience, man comes short of the image of God. The only way for man to be restored to God’s image is to believe in God again, and then God shall refine man’s character into His image that of godliness and holiness.
2. Suffering Reflects God’s Choice
V10 “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”
Count it a privilege if you suffer for God as it is a confirmation that He has chosen you! If God is to refine man as the way man refines silver, then no man will come forth as pure silver as man is too impure. However, it is by God’s infinite grace, mercy and love, that when the people call upon God that He shall hear them and refine their impurities for His glory.
Zechariah 13:9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.”
3. Sufferings Reflects God’s Glory
V11 “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? And I will not give my glory unto another.”
God’s glory is manifested when Christians suffer for God. History testifies that as a result of heavy and intense persecution, Christianity has actually flourished even in Communist countries. Indeed, it is through suffering that we are able to discern the real Christians from the false ones. During good times, it is easy to believe in God because there is no suffering and persecution. However, it is only during bad times, when suffering and persecution come, that we shall see the true blue Christians who still believe and confess that Jesus is the Lord.
Prayer of the Week
God, Help me to Endure Sufferings as they Refine my Character and Reflect God’s Choice and God’s Glory.