As a general rule, I try to upload only my own Bible studies. However, this excerpt from Charles H. Spurgeon’s book, Morning and Evening, was a real blessing to me one morning. It was one of those difficult days, and the Lord brought encouragement as this meditation for morning popped up when I opened up Sword Project. May this little meditation will be an encouragement to each one of you as it was to me.
(thoughts at the end my own)
“I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” – Isaiah 48:10
Comfort thyself, tried believer, with this thought: God saith, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Does not the word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yea, is it not an asbestos armour, against which the heat hath no power? Let affliction come – God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayst stride at my door, but God is in the house already, and he has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayst intrude, but I have a balsam ready – God has chosen me. Whatever befalls me in this vale of tears, I know that he has “chosen” me. If, believer, thou requirest still greater comfort, remember – that you have the Son of Man with you in the furnace. In that silent chamber of yours, there sitteth by your side One whom thou hast not seen, but whom thou lovest; and ofttimes when thou knowest it not, He makes all thy bed in thy affliction, and smooths thy pillow for thee. Thou art in poverty; but in that lovely house of thine the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor. He loves to come into these desolate places, that He may visit thee. Thy friend sticks close to thee. Thou canst not see him, but thou mayst feel the pressure of His hands. Dost thou not hear His voice? Even in the valley of the shadow of death He says, “Fear not, I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God.” …Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, His presence is both thy comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. “Fear not, for I am with thee,” is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in the “furnace of affliction.” Wilt thou not, then, take fast hold of Christ, and say – “Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead, I’ll follow where He goes.”
-- from Morning and Evening by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
May this little meditation be an encouragement to each of you, a blessing as you face the trials and burdens that come each day. We may not see the reasons for our trials, but God knows. He has chosen us, and He has chosen just the right trial to refine us for His glory. However, He does not leave us in the fire alone, but the Son of God goes with us through the furnace. He promises, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10) Furthermore, the Lord adds these assurances, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:1-3)
We belong to God; we are His. He has called us by our name. When we pass through the floods, He passes through them with us. When we walk through the fire, He walks through it with us. He is our God, the Holy one of Israel, our Saviour.
I pray God will use these words to encourage, bless, and uplift. May the Holy Scriptures, and the promises and assurances of the love of God come to your mind and give strength to your heart as you travel the journey of life.