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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

April 13, 2011 - In the Crucible

By Jerry D. Scott

A crucible is a container made of graphite or porcelain in which metals can be heated to extremely high temperatures and melted. This allows impurities to be drawn off, leaving a pure precious metal. The process is hard, but the result is great! The Word speaks of God as the Refiner who heats us in the crucible of life — not for our destruction, but to make us holy.

“Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness” (Malachi 3:2,3, NIV).

Trauma produces transformation. At what moments did you dig into your faith most deeply? What makes you ask yourself the really probing questions about motive and meaning? We don’t tend to grow when life is a bed of roses. We need “boot camp” experiences to force us out of complacency and into transformation.

The moment that recruits arrive for basic training they are scared silly, intimidated, yelled at, awakened in the middle of the night, have their hair cut off ... why? Many reasons, but primary among them is the need to break down their old habits and force a bond to their unit. And, yes, there is that issue of learning to instantly respond to orders! From the outside, basic training looks cruel. But ask the soldier in combat, and he will be thankful for the trauma that transformed a bunch of kids into a disciplined, military unit.

James 1:2 is familiar. “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides” (The Message). One might ask, “Is God serious? Why would I welcome tough times as a gift? The short answer is that trauma produces transformation.

Are you in the crucible of life? Is God allowing you to go through trauma right now? “If you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it” (1 Peter 4:19)

It is hard not to complain when you’re getting melted in the fire, but pray for the ability to faithfully welcome the challenge as an opportunity to grow. Here’s a word from the Word for this day: “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

— Jerry D. Scott is senior pastor at Washington (N.J.) Assembly of God.



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