“…the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace…” Deut. 4:20
The iron furnace is one place I want to avoid. Yet, I have been there—often. How about you? When life’s struggles keep the heat up higher than I want, I want to escape. I beg to have the thermostat lowered; I cry for the air conditioned room or at least to open a window. Deliverance is my goal. Escape is my only thought. It can feel like I am isolated and alone, fighting to breathe. The enemy would like me to think I am because his plan for me is ugly and raw.
Never thought about the enemy having plans? Oh, he does. And, according to Ephesians 6:10 we need to stand against his schemes. So, when the furnace of affliction heats up, what can we do?
1. Remember that God promises to be with us no matter what we face
2. Stay focused on what God says His plans are for you: Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28
When we focus on God’s promises and His plans we keep the enemy from winning a victory in our lives. The enemy wants to takes us down the slippery slope of the Deadly D’s so that we become ineffective in our walk. His plans are to make you:
Doubt which leads to...
Discouragement, which leads to...
Defeat and onto...
Don’t let the enemy drain you of your joy and hope. God is bigger; God is able; He will bring victory when we allow Him to fight for us. Remember the story of Meschach, Shadrach and Abednego (Daniel 3)? They weren’t in the furnace alone.
Jesus promises abundant life, joy and peace beyond our understanding when I keep my eyes on Him. Even in the midst of affliction I can know His presence. I can trust Him to work all things out for good. I will trust Him to deliver me from the heat of affliction and for His Spirit to send a fresh breeze of mercy and grace.
How has the furnace impacted you? Do you have a promise to share with others who may be in the heat of affliction?
May you focus on God’s promises in the midst of your furnace,
For standing firm against the Evil One, study Ephesians 6 about the armor of God.