The Lord’s Testing and Love

A number of years ago a Christian blacksmith who suffered much was challenged by an unbeliever to account for it.

His explanation was this: “I don’t know if I can account for these things to your satisfaction, but I think I can to my own. I am a blacksmith. I often take a piece of iron and put it into the fire and bring it to a white heat. Then I put it on the anvil and strike it once or twice to see if it will take temper. If I think it will, I plunge it into water, and suddenly change the temperature. Then I put it into the fire again, and again I put it in water. This I repeat several times. Then I put it on the anvil and hammer it, and bend it, and rasp and file it, and make some useful article which will do service for many years. If, however, when I first strike it on the anvil, I think it will not take temper, I throw it into the scrap pile and sell it for a few cents a pound.
“I believe my God and Father has been testing me to see if I will take temper. He has put me into the fire and into the water. I have tried to bear it as patiently as I could, and my daily prayer has been, ‘Lord, put me into the fire if You will; put me into the water if You think I need it; do anything You please, Lord, only don’t throw me into the scrap pile.'”
Our life is like the face of a clock. The hands are God’s hands passing over – the short hand of discipline and the long hand of mercy.
Slowly and surely the Hand of discipline must pass, and God speaks at every hour; but over and over passes the Hand of mercy, showering us sixty-fold of blessings for each stroke of discipline and trial; and both hands are fastened to one secure pivot – the great unchanging heart of a God of love.
“. . . The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
{Grace & Truth, 215 Oak St., Hillery, Danville, Ill. 61832.}
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QUOTE

“Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will
flee from you.”  James 4:7
“If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And
ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8: 31-32
“It is not wickedness to be harassed by bad thoughts if you resist them.
It is satan’s effort to get you to adopt them, and thus you are sifted.
You will find, if you keep near the Lord, that you are more established
after an assault of the kind than you were before; and the only way
to combat satan’s attacks is by the Word…If satan can lead you to
become indifferent to these assaults, then they will lead you to great
damage; but if, on the contrary, they urge you to be more dependent
on the Lord Himself and on His Word, they will eventually cease, and you
will be ‘settled.’  J. B. Stoney
After you have suffered awhile make you perfect [mature], stablish,
strengthen, settle you.”  1 Peter 5:10