The fire is used to transform, shaping us into the person God created us to be. Just like how a blacksmith has to first heat the metal in the furnace before it can be shaped and bent, these trials we experience are used as the necessary fire to prepare us for life's challenges. Without them, we would break when faced with adversity. It's a place where our faith and character are made in the extreme heat of affliction.
These fiery trials is what the Bible calls "The furnace of Affliction". The furnace of affliction is specifically designed to keep us on the right path. It's through affliction that we are reminded to rely on God's Word. Psalm 119:67 says, "Before I was afflicted I went astray — but now have I kept Your Word." Through affliction we learn and grow, as stated in Psalm 119:71: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted — that I might learn Your statutes." We cant avoid the furnace of affliction because its what God uses to prepare us for the next level.
God will continue to put you in the furnace of affliction until you are soft enough to bend to His will and desire for you. This furnace destroys the stiff neck or stubbornness that God has to deal with in us. Once we make it out of the furnace we are refined! Being refined means that you have persevered and proves that God is creating a special relationship with you. Its exactly what Zechariah 13:8-9 says: "I will subject this third to the fire; I will refine them as silver is refined and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will declare, 'They are my people,' and they will respond, 'The Lord is our God.'" The furnace symbolizes the hardships we face, but it's through these trials that we come out improved and ready for the next level.
I encourage you to embrace the fires you encounter with faith and resilience, remembering that they are designed to prepare, equip, and keep you on the path of righteousness. In times of trial, call on the name of the Lord, because He is with you. Allow Him to shape you into the best version of you. Then you too will thank God for the furnace of affliction. Let these words inspire you to see every hardship as an opportunity for transformation and remind you of the connection that you and God have.