I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. -Romans 12:1
Now every sacrifice must be burned with fire… They killed the bullock and laid it on the altar, but it was no sacrifice till they burned it. They slew the lamb, they laid the wood; but there was no sacrifice in the killing of the lamb till it was burned. Know ye not, brethren, we are offerings to God, and that we are a living sacrifice unto Jesus Christ. But how could we be a sacrifice if we were not burned? If we never had the fire of trouble put about us, if we never were kindled, we should lie there without smoke, without flame, unacceptable to God. But be cause ye are His sacrifice, therefore ye must be burned; fire must penetrate you and you must be offered a whole burnt offering, holy and acceptable unto God.
Another reason why we must be put in the furnace is, because else we should not be at all like Jesus Christ. How can we be like Christ, unless our feet, too, are burned in the furnace? If He walked through the flames, must not we do the same?-that “in all things He might be like unto His brethren.” We are we know, to be like Christ in that august appearance when He shall come to be admired of all His saints; we are to be like Him when we shall see Him as He is; and shall we fear to be like Him here? Will we not tread where our Saviour trod?
Yes! Onward, Christian! the captain of your salvation hath gone through the dark valley before you-therefore, onward! Onward with boldness! Onward with courage! Onward with hope! that ye may be like your Saviour, by participation in His sufferings. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. -Romans 8:36
You never saw a precious thing yet which did not have a trial. The diamond must be cut; and hard cutting that poor jewel has; were it capable of feeling pain, nothing would be more fretted and worried about, than that diamond. Gold, too, must be tried; it cannot be used as it is dug up from the mine, or in grains as it is found in the rivers; it must pass through the crucible and have the dross taken away. Silver must be tried. In fact all things that are of any value must endure the fire. It is the law of nature. Solomon tells us so in the 17th chapter of Proverbs, the 3rd verse. He says, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold.” If you were nothing but tin, there would be no need of the “fining-pot” for you; but it is simply because you are valuable that you must be tried. It was one of the laws of God, written in the book of Numbers, 31st chapter, 23rd verse- “Everything that may abide the fire, ye shall make go through the fire, and it shall be clean.” It is a law of nature, it is a law of grace, that everything that can abide the fire-everything that is precious-must be tried. Be sure of this,-that which will not stand trial is not worth having. Would I choose to preach in this house if I thought it would not stand the trial of a large congregation, but might one of these days totter and break down? Would any one forming a railway, construct a bridge that would not stand a trial of the weight that might run across it? No; we have things that would stand the trial, otherwise we should think them of no value. That which I can trust one hour, but find it break the next, when I want it most, is of little use to me. But because ye are of value, saints, because ye are gold, therefore ye must be tried. From the very fact that ye are valuable, ye must be made to pass through the furnace.~ C.H. Spurgeon
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? -Romans 8:35
O blessed reflection! let it comfort us: His love does not change; it cannot be made to alter; the furnace cannot scorch us, not a single hair of our head can perish; we are as safe in the fire as we are out of it; He loves us as much in the depths of tribulation as He does in the heights of our joy and exultation. Oh! thou who art beloved of friends, “when thy father and mother forsake thee the Lord will take thee up.” Thou who canst say, “He that ate bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me,” “though all men forsake thee,” saith Jehovah, “yet will not I.” O Zion, say not thou art forgotten of God; hear Him when He speaks-“Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee.” “I have graven thee upon My hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
Were we not slandered, were we not the butt of’ ridicule, we would not think ourselves the children of God. We glory that we stand prominent in the day of battle; we thank our enemies for all their shafts, for each one bears upon it proofs of our Father’s love. We thank our foemen for every stab, for it only cuts our armour and rattles on our mail, never reaching the heart. We thank them for every slander they have forged, and for every lie they have manufactured, for we know in whom we have believed, and know that these things cannot separate us from his love; yea, we take this as a mark of our being called, that we, as the sons of God, can suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake.~ C.H. Spurgeon
I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction. -Isaiah 48:10
“I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” I chose and created thee a vessel of mercy appointed unto eternal life: and when thou in common with the whole race, hadst fallen, though I might have crushed thee with them, and sent thee down to hell, I chose thee in thy fallen condition, and I provided for thy redemption: in the fulness of time I sent My Son, who fulfilled My law and made it honourable. I chose thee at thy birth, when a helpless infant thou didst sleep upon thy mother’s breast. I chose thee when thou didst grow up in childhood with all thy follies and thy sins. Determined to save thee, I watched o’er thy path when, Satan’s blind slave, thou didst sport with death. I chose thee when, in manhood, thou didst sin against Me with a high hand; when thy unbridled lusts dashed thee on madly towards hell. I chose thee, then, when thou wast a blasphemer and a swearer, and very far from Me. I chose thee, then, even when thou wast dead in trespasses and sins: I loved thee, and still thy name was kept in My book. The hour appointed came; I redeemed thee from thy sin; I made thee love; I spake to thee, and made thee leave thy sins and become My child; and I chose thee then over again. Since that hour how often hast thou forgotten Me! but I have never forgotten thee. Thou hast wandered from Me; thou hast rebelled against Me; yea, thy words have been exceeding hot against Me, and thou hast robbed Me of Mine honour; but I chose thee even then; and now that I put thee in the furnace thinkest thou that My love is changed? Am I a summer friend fleeing from thee in the winter? Am I one who loves thee in prosperity and doth cast thee off in adversity? Nay; hearken to these my words. thou furnace-tried one, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Think not, then, when you are in trouble that God has cast you off. Think He has cast you off if you never have any trials and troubles, but when in the furnace, say, “Did He not tell me this beforehand?” ~ C.H. Spurgeon
I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. -Isaiah 48:10
(W)hen there seemed in the chapter but little need of the mention of the doctrine of God’s choosing His people, on a sudden the Holy Spirit moves the prophet’s lips and bids him utter this sentiment, “I have chosen thee;” I have chosen thee by My eternal, sovereign, distinguishing grace; I have chosen thee in covenant purposes; I have chosen thee according to My electing love; “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”
…No tribulation ever proves us to be children of God, except it be sanctified by grace, but affliction is the common lot of all men-man is born to it, even as the sparks fly upward; and you must not infer, because you happen to be troubled, because you are poor, or sick, or tried in your minds, that therefore you are a child of God. If you do imagine so, you are building on a false foundation; you have taken a wrong thought, and you are not right in the matter at all…
There are trials in the pathway of the ungodly, there are troubles they have to suffer which are quite as acute as those of the children of God. Oh! trust not in your troubles; fix your thoughts on Jesus; make Him the only object of your trust, and let the only test be this, “Am I one with Christ? Am I leaning upon Him?” If so, whether I am tried or not, I am a child of God. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -Matthew 6:33
(W)hen a man is anxious he cannot pray; when he is troubled about the world he cannot serve his Master, he is serving himself. If you could “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” beloved, “all things would then be added to you.” What a noble Christian you would be; how much more honorable you would be to Christ’s religion; and how much better you could serve Him.
“Tis mine to obey, ’tis His to provide,”
(Y)ou have been meddling with Christ’s business, you have been leaving your own; you have been trying the “providing” part and leaving the “obeying?” to somebody else. Now, you take the obeying part, and let Christ manage the providing. Come then, brethren, doubting and fearful ones, come and see your Father’s storehouse, and ask whether He will let you starve while He has stored away such plenty in His garner! Come and look at His heart of mercy, see if that will ever fail! Come and look at His inscrutable wisdom and see if that will ever go amiss: Above all, look up there to Jesus Christ your intercessor, and ask yourself, “while He pleads, can my Father forget me?” And if He remembers even sparrows, will He forget one of the least of His poor children? “Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He will sustain thee,” “He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon