Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6: 12)
The biblical heroes of faith call to us from the heights they have won, encouraging us that what man once did, man can do again. They remind us not only of the necessity of faith but also of the patience required for faith’s work to be perfected. May we fear attempting to remove ourselves from the hands of our heavenly Guide, or missing even one lesson of His loving discipline due to our discouragement or doubt.
An old village blacksmith once said, “There is only one thing I fear: being thrown onto the scrap heap. You see, in order to strengthen a piece of steel, I must first temper it. I heat it, hammer it, and then quickly plunge it into a bucket of cold water. Very soon I know whether it will accept the tempering process or simply fall to pieces. If, after one or two tests, I see it will not allow itself to be tempered, I throw it onto the scrap heap, only to later sell it to the junkman for a few cents per pound.
“I realize the Lord tests me in the same way: through fire, water, and heavy blows of His hammer. If I am unwilling to withstand the test, or prove to be unfit for His tempering process, I am afraid He may throw me onto the scrap heap.”
When the fire in your life is the hottest, stand still, for “later on . . . it produces a harvest” (Heb. 12: 11) of blessings. Then we will be able to say with Job, “When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23: 10).
Sainthood finds its source in suffering. Remember, it requires eleven tons of pressure on a piano’s strings for it to be tuned. And God will tune you to perfect harmony with heaven’s theme if you will withstand the strain.
Things that hurt and things that mar
Shape the man for perfect praise;
Shock and strain and ruin are
Friendlier than the smiling days.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 99-100). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.