“I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.“
“Once we have come through the ‘furnace of humiliation,’ desperately, fearfully clinging to Christ for all He is worth, then we are fully equipped to march into somebody else’s furnace.”
‘Blessed with Bipolar”
Becoming a real and authentic person often demands intense responses, at precisely the most opportune moment. Amazingly, this is the sole exclusive prerequisite which grants us the right to enter into a deep understanding. If you have it, you may enter. (And if you don’t, you really should move on, and quickly, please.)
Furnace people will often recognize those who have made no real connection with God’s real work. There are furnace promises, but without truly understanding them, some people act very ‘irrationally’. They will do and say things that have no connection to what is actually happening. They’ll even blame any failure on the sufferer.
But desperation is a funny thing. Without it, it is doubtful we will ever enter into the Kingdom, but with it we bring great riches that take us to Him, the source of life and light. It also transforms us, and brings us to a brand new level of thinking. After time we come to the very place of making a connection, and then we realize that we have very few (if any) other options. And God holds them all.
Furnace people have developed a connection to that which is honest and true. But they rarely enter into anything false or manipulative. Their own hearts are transformed by the fire, and they have become transparent. Impostors are quickly detected, but they cannot progress very far. Only furnace people can enter in.
The Church has a need for those few who have entered the furnace of humiliation. We are a rare species indeed. When you endure its ugliness and its great evil you will find yourselves in a completely different place. You will have become transported instead to where you can communicate deliverance and truth that you have learned. I am thinking about the story of Joseph, and his ordeal, found in the Book of Genesis. He was a rare kind of person. Perhaps, one in a million.
Furnace people are enabled to function gracefully at this particular stage. You see, they are still operative at this level. This is not an issue of what is acceptable, but it has plenty to do with how grace and mercy is woven through the human heart in the presence of affliction.
Furnace people have been sovereignly brought to a place where they can minister the grace of God into desperate situations. We must convince ourselves, that furnace people have a gift. They have been through the worst. They are battered and bruised. But they still stand. We must look to them and connect. Our brothers and sisters have carried the Word with wisdom and grace to us, through the fire.
My simple request is that you would become an agent of grace and mercy. That is your simple destiny. The things good or bad, that have happened to you are part of how you’ll understand grace. I know it seems alien and very unusual. But He awaits for you to respond. Will you come to Him, through the grace you find in the fire? The most gracious people you’ll ever meet are those who endured God’s furnace.
“He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.”