"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
In life, there are always challenges to overcome, adversity to face in different degrees. I’ve always found the passage on Romans 8 interesting. Regardless of the situation, good or bad, Paul reminds us that not only can we conquer each stage of life but we can be more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. I believe the “more” is the love we have in Christ and what God wants to deposit in us while we go through each situation creating character and resiliency.
We’ve all heard the analogy of comparing our lives with the refining of precious metals like silver or gold. Silver has other minerals, dirt, and other particles that make it “impure.” In order to get these out, the silver must be put to fire and melted. The impurities rise to the top and are scraped off. The same is true in our lives. To extract the “impurities from our lives, one must be put through the fire so that we can recognize them and get rid of them.
As I reflect on the past few years, there have been quite a few “fires” that I have faced, both personal and in the ministry, but I see each of them a blessing and God continually working on me. As with the foundation of a house, the older we get, the more we “settle.” As we approach mid-life, the cracks in our character become more prominent. If we don’t fill these cracks, they only get wider the older we become. God allows us to go through the fire, not to hurt us, but to recognize where we need to improve, giving us the chance to get the “impurities” out.
The “more” for me has been the needed character building I am receiving, the ongoing lesson to keep the joy at all times, walking in forgiveness and grace, and many more. We will make it through every situation but the fires we face probably won’t be comfortable. God is not so much interested in our comfort but in our character!
Don’t just make it through the fire, come out more pure and better than ever!