“When through fiery trials your pathway will lie,
My grace, all sufficient, will be your supply.
The flames will not hurt you; I only design
Your dross to consume and your gold to refine.”- How Firm a Foundation, v. 4
Timothy Keller opens Chapter 11 (“Walking”) of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering with the observation that most modern books and resources for sufferers focus on ameliorating our problems through control of our immediate responses and environment. Christianity, in contrast, has “gone higher and deeper to furnish believers with the resources to face tribulation.”
Pastor Keller states that walking– walking through something difficult and perilous- is one of the main metaphors the Bible gives us for facing adversity, because the walking metaphor points to the idea of progress. We are not to lose our footing so that suffering can have its way with us. On the other hand, we can’t deceive ourselves into thinking we can avoid suffering or that it won’t penetrate us.
Christians, Peter writes, are like gold filled with impurities (1 Peter 1:7). Suffering draws out the impurities in our souls. Suffering can destroy some things within us while simultaneously purifying and strengthening other things. Pastor Keller states that the key to becoming stronger rather than weaker in affliction is knowing God personally.
Today’s question: What progress have you made as you walk through your desert, transition time? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Spiritually fireproofed”