I’ve been watching a competition show on Netflix featuring glass blowers. It’s fascinating to see how solid materials like sand can be heated at extremely high temperatures (1700°C/3090°F) until they become liquid and transparent.
We’re a bit like glass. In our original, opaque form, we’re a handful of raw material that’s not much to look at. But in the Master’s hands, and subjected to high heat, we become transparent—so Christ can shine through us.
We shouldn’t be so shocked
I Peter 4:12 tells us that we shouldn’t be surprised when fiery trials come our way. Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire.
If you’re like me, it’s hard NOT to be shocked. When trials start to pile up, we want to cry out, “God, I’m your child! Why is this happening to me?” The thing is, trials are very intentional on God’s part. For it’s only fire that turns us from opaque grains of sand into vessels through whom the nature of Christ can be seen.
Peter tell us to be glad about the trials in our lives. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 1:6-7). We wish our faith could be proved without the fire. But it’s just not possible. Fire takes the impurities out of gold and transforms the sand into glass. Without the fire, there is no refinement.
Learn to see things His way
So perhaps instead of fighting the fire, we can ask God to help us see the end result.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
2 Cor. 4:17
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Stephen, the first Christian martyr gave us an example of how to see the end result. When he testified of Christ and the religious leaders became enraged enough to stone him, he looked intently into heaven, and there “he saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).
If you feel overwhelmed by trials today, look up. God is creating something beautiful out of your life. The heat will only be applied until you are transformed. Then you will emerge from the fire not as a pile of sand, but a person transformed in the image of Christ, lovingly crafted by the Master’s hands.
Lord, help me to accept the fiery trials, not as something surprising, but as something transformative. Give me grace to be patient in the trials, knowing You are at work, creating something beautiful. And most of all, when my head hangs down, help me to look up to see Your glory.
*Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®) © 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
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