"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial…"
A show that I've recently enjoyed watching is called Forged in Fire. I actually liked the show so much that I asked my wife if I could have a forge in our back-lawn area. She said no (probably for the best). The show has four contestants (blacksmiths) who all compete to craft a weapon in a certain amount of time. The weapon is then tried by the fire, and the best one wins. It’s amazing as you watch all the hammering and heating that these pieces of metal go through to become what they were meant to be. In the end, this seemingly insignificant block of metal—suffering through hammer and flame—is turned to a magnificent work of art—both beautiful and useful.
Every time I watch the show, I can’t help but think of how God works in our lives. God is the blacksmith, we are the metal, and the trials of life are the fire that our character is forged in. We don’t want to go through the trials, but it’s the trial that refines us and shapes us into what we’re meant to be. The process is painful, but it’s not pointless. God is at work—molding us, sharpening us, shaping us, and conforming us to the image of Jesus. I need to remember that just like the dull blade that becomes sharp and useful only by going through the fire, I am being sharpened by the fiery trials in my life. I need to remember that whatever trial I’m going through, there is a purpose, and that purpose is being “forged” into the image of Christ. I need to remember that God is the master blacksmith who knows just how hot the fire needs to be and just how long I need to be in it in order to make me, not melt me.