“…Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
The furnace of affliction. We desire to be chosen by God, but His choosing, His selection process… sounds super fun, right?
We often tend to view “affliction” in terms of physical attacks, ailments and infirmities. At least that is how I often view it. I have to thank God for the way He surrounded the verse above with other Scriptures for me earlier this week, giving me a beautiful yet heartbreaking picture of affliction. Of the furnace.
So I dared to dig deeper into the core of this verse to pull out the hidden treasures that are often found when you peek behind the curtain of the Hebrew language. In essence, I gleaned that it literally meant to be selected in the dug-out, excavated furnace of depression.
Have you been there? Have you ever experienced the fiery trial of depression? Are you there now?
My daughter saw a commercial about depression last night and asked me of the difference between depression and sadness. Sadly, I could honestly tell her from experience because I have battled it. And ironically, if you are “battling” it, you have generally lost the care and concern of fighting. There is a feeling of being so far down that nothing seems to matter; no matter how hard you want to care, you cannot find the energy to do so.
I call out to all who feel weighted down by the spirit of depression—lift up your eyes, and know that your help comes from the Lord! Take heart that the affliction you experience while serving the Lord can only serve to refine you and purify you. Resist the urge to grieve the crucifixion of your flesh…rejoice at its death! Do not weep, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!
I understand that when facing this type of furnace, the heat can make it almost unbearable to smile, much less rejoice…remember that to rejoice is a choice. Choose to endure the test. Many are called, but few are chosen.
Scripture to read:
Isaiah 48:10 Psalm 119:67
Nehemiah 8:9-11 Psalm 121
Philippians 4:4 Matthew 24:13
Matthew 22:14 Daniel 3
Father, I choose to let You finish Your perfect work in me, regardless of all that I must endure. I choose Your joy to counter depression. You always win! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.