1 Peter 4:12-16
We discover the strength we have in Christ in the midst of adversity. It is interesting to observe that most of the Psalms were written during times of difficulty. Many of the New Testament Epistles were written in prisons. The book of Revelation was written while John was in exile. Most of the great thinkers in history had their most profound discoveries while in time of tribulation. It seems that when God has important plans for a person He takes him into the fire. In the 4th century A.D. 318 delegates gathered for the Nicene Council. Less than twelve had lost an eye, a hand, or had been made lame by torture. Daniel, Jeremiah, Paul, and John all were brought to the depths in order to know the strength of Christ as they brought glory to the Father in their works and words. On the wall in Charles Spurgeon’s bedroom hung a plague that said it well. “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10) A clay pot can sit in the heat of the sun indefinitely and know no change. It will remain a clay pot. It is only when it is placed in the intense heat (between 2,192 °F and 2,552 °F) of the kiln that it can become porcelain.
Dr. Gayle Woods