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I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48: 10 KJV)


Doesn’t God’s Word come to us like a soft rain shower, dispelling the fury of the flames? Isn’t it like fireproof armor, against which the heat is powerless? Then let afflictions come, for God has chosen me. Poverty, you may walk through my door, but God is already in my house, and He has chosen me. Sickness, you may intrude into my life, but I have a cure standing ready— God has chosen me. Whatever occurs in the valley of tears, I know He has chosen me.

Dear Christian, do not be afraid, for Jesus is with you. Through all your fiery trials, His presence is both your comfort and safety. He will never forsake those He has chosen for His own. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you” (Gen. 26: 24) is His unfailing word of promise to His chosen ones who are experiencing “the furnace of affliction.”
~Charles H. Spurgeon

Pain’s furnace heat within me quivers,
God’s breath upon the flame does blow;
And all my heart in anguish shivers
And trembles at the fiery glow;
And yet I whisper, “As God will!”
And in the hottest fire hold still.
He comes and lays my heart, all heated,
On the hard anvil, minded so
Into His own fair shape to beat it
With His great hammer, blow on blow;
And yet I whisper, “As God will!”
And at His heaviest blows hold still.
He takes my softened heart and beats it;
The sparks fly off at every blow;
He turns it o’er and o’er and heats it,
And lets it cool, and makes it glow;
And yet I whisper, “As God will!”
And in His mighty hand hold still.
Why should I complain? for the sorrow
Then only longer-lived would be;
The end may come, and will tomorrow,
When God has done His work in me;
So I say trusting, “As God will!”
And, trusting to the end, hold still.
~Julius Sturm

The burden of suffering seems to be a tombstone hung around our necks. Yet in reality it is simply the weight necessary to hold the diver down while he is searching for pearls.
~Julius Richter

Reference

Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim. Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 266). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.