Refiner's Fire

January 27, 2008
by Sari Cobb

We had a very large fire in our community last week. The commercial building held eight to ten different and varied businesses, and all were a total loss. Nothing survived this fire. There were two non-profit organizations, three government offices, and numerous self-employed individuals. Nothing was spared. Even our precious pregnancy centre, which serves to glorify God every moment of every day, lost everything.

John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV)

As Christians, many times we want to be spared, to be protected. We expect God's hand to serve as a covering and to let nothing touch us or those we love. Thus many stood in awe that God did not spare the pregnancy centre. It appeared that He had not protected what was His.

Romans 8:17 – Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (NIV)

One of our local insurance agents said that he had never been busier. The phones were ringing off the hook. Businesses and individuals everywhere were looking for new coverage, or to increase their existing coverage, or to make sure the policies they thought they had were in place and sufficient.

Is our policy sufficient and up-to-date? Do we have enough coverage? Will that keep Satan's schemes from touching our lives? Is it possible that God will allow such loss and suffering in our lives?

Daniel 12:10 – Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. (NIV)

Isaiah 61:3-4 – And provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendour. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. (NIV)

No insurance policy will protect what God has allowed to be destroyed, but already His mighty hand is more than evident. All the businesses are finding new homes, and our precious pregnancy centre is being restored. New and fresh supplies are arriving. Many are now hearing of its impact in the community and are stepping forward to help rebuild it. God is moving to rebuild it quickly, and better than it was before.

It is also that way in our lives. Pain, suffering, and difficult times will affect us. We will struggle and have hardships, but God is with us, refining us, polishing us to reflect His glory. He is supplying beauty for ashes. Satan loses again!

Prayer: O God, please remind us that even though Satan truly is here to steal everything from us, literally to kill us, and to destroy not only the material, but our testimony, You, O Lord, are here to refine us and walk with us through these trials. Help us to be wise and to understand. If we will but hold tightly to Your hand and lift our hearts in praise, we will see all things restored, our faith strengthened, and our hearts made spotless enough to begin reflecting Your perfect glory. Hold us tightly, dear Lord, and allow us to don Your garment of praise! Amen.

About the author:

Sari Cobb <crcobb@saricobb.com>
Craig, Colorado, USA

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