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Friday, 6 January 2017

Olatuja Oloyede: Formed in the Furnace of Affliction

Formed in the Furnace of Affliction
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48: 10)
Many times, God’s dealings with us are not usually on pleasurable notes. In crafting in us the greatness He desires, we may sometimes be exposed to several storms and flames.
Great weapon of war that will wreck havoc on the camp of the enemy must necessarily be surrendered to the crucible. Job must have understood this divine principle when in his teary moments could still say: “when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23: 10). The journey into God’s abundance can sometimes be through the thorny desert of lack and loneliness. There may be delay of some certain blessings in many homes if God wants to raise mighty arrows in His quiver. If Hannah had been like Peninnah, if those tears never came, if those bitterness were not there, if she had had it easy like every other woman, Samuel might never be born. God took her through that wilderness of lack and reproach to teach her about the approved parenting system to know that children are God’s. If there were no tears, there will be no Samuel, if Samuel never came, then the reign of darkness, the dominion of Phinehas, the authority of Hophini will be prolonged. As a child of God, some delays are not God’s attempt to poke joke at humanity and mock our weaknesses but that seeming unpleasant moment is in line with His everlasting program to establish His glory on earth.
See God saying to Eli in 1 Samuel 2: 35 “I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart” but the woman to bear this great promise in her womb was locked up in the weariness of barrenness probably thinking God has forgotten her, provoked by mockers, reproached by her companions, tormented by inward thoughts. To kindle the fires of faith in the early disciples, He took them to the open sea and released a deadly tempest on them, for Joseph to govern the super power of his time, God allowed instances that test his self-control. He made him an object of constant hatred, despised by his brothers, tempted by a demon, tested with positions and forgotten in prison, yet, all these were hammering him into a man not corrupted by pleasures or consumed by political relevance. Even Abraham and Sarah had some unpleasant delays because God has a plan that out of their loins shall a blessed promise be established with all humanity forever. How can there be Daniels without Dens, or Meshach(s) without furnaces, or Mordecai(s) without Haman(s), or David(s) without Saul(s)? The furnace of affliction is not just the price to pay but the path of preparation for meaningful impart in the hand of the great God.
So, if there is a storm on your abode, do not fret or be discouraged. The dealings of God are never meant to kill or break but to heal and make. Do not faint in the days of adversity but stand up in the strength of the Lord and say no to compromise and complacency. Trying days will come, it may be temptations, it may be trials of faith, but it is most important that the soldiers of the Lord remain standing. When through the dark valley of temptations you go or through the mountains of riches and worldly entrapments you climb, will you deny Christ and turn your back against the Rock of Ages? May be you are at present in a time of discouragements, of weeping, of fainting, of failing, get inspired by Brother James who wrote: “blessed is that man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that loved Him.” God has not forgotten you and He will never fail you for He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Let us pray!
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