Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Furnace of Afflictions

UV 545/10,000 Zechariah 13 v 8 The Furnace of Afflictions “ And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God” A third or a significant number of the citizens of the Kingdom of God or believers will pass through the most severe tests of pain and suffering. The purpose is to refine us, to purify us of the dross of selfishness, disbelief and lust. When I underwent fiery trials, I cried out to the Lord and He heard me. He said, “ This proves that you are my dearly beloved child for what Father who loves His child will not discipline him. You will be the better for this experience.” Silver is refined seven times over in a refining pot to attain a level of 100 per cent purity. Similarly, the gold ore is melted in the furnace. It is a series of afflictions that often makes our dried up faith and emotions flow like molten gold in the furnace. There is a difference however with the goldsmith’s methods. The words “ I will bring the third part through the fire..” implies that the Lord will accompany us through the fire and ensure we are safely through. When Daniel’s three companions, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in the furnace, the Emperor Nebuchadnezar was amazed to see a fourth one in the furnace who looked like a “Son of God.” In 1997, on India’s golden jubilee the Indian Express group announced a contest called the “ Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul” contest open to all citizens of all ages. The entries were to be true life- changing experiences. My story won the first prize with Jack Canfield awarding it 10 on 10 saying, “ I cannot take a single word out of it.” I wrote about my fiery trial at Sriperumbudur in the world’s first Human Bomb assassination of a leader. I wrote about how a group of women went to the goldsmith and asked him till what point he would smelt the gold in the fire and the goldsmith replied, “ Till I see my image in the gold.” That story recounted by a visiting believer at my bedside in hospital had healed my deeper spiritual and psychological wounds. The Creator – Redeemer wants to see His reflection in our lives. It is towards this end that we go through fiery trials. A time of intense pain and suffering is not a time to weaken our faith or resolve. Rather, it is a time to cry out to the Lord. He promises to certainly hear us and heal our wounds and afflictions. It is a time to draw closer to the Lord. It is a time for mutual affirmation where the Lord will say, “ These are my people,” and we will affirm, “ The Lord is my God.” As believers we have to often drink the very cup of suffering that the Lord drank. But, He will not test us beyond the capacity of our faith or our ability to endure. Prateep V Philip


  1. Thought I should share this feedback on today’s messge that you shared with us. I did forward to some families in our Assembly.
    And here below is a feedback I got from one of them, which I felt you must see.

    “Thank u for these thoughts which you take pains to pass on to us everyday,trust me brother when i say this, i look forward to reading this everyday,nobody will understand what a fiery furnace is till you are there and go thru it,

    Pls do keep this coming,really is an encouragement to read this,”
    Samuel Abraham

  2. Thanks for this amazing witness.
    Amitayu Das