Wednesday, December 11, 2013


One of the things I treasure about God is that He teaches me to be crazy about life right in the center of discouraging variables.  For every discouraging whim, we find ourselves advantaged.  A benefit of being God's child is that what some mean to be used as hindrance we transform into blessing.

Speaking of Christians who have awakened to an exhilarating faith, Calvin Miller writes, Their passion burns.  Their inner fire rages.  They fry their old alarm clocks and can't wait for sunrise.  They have an indestructible spirit.  They don't buckle under gossip.  They outlast their foes.  They survive their critics.  They awake to praise God on the mornings of their most foreboding trials.


Yes, life in the kingdom stings.  Yes, I encounter days where I am bummed, set back, and flustered.  And yes, the Inner Fire continues to blaze through each for the Spirit of God is neither a whim nor a mood.  We are the stove.  The Spirit is the burning coal.  May the world be warmed!

One of the great secrets of kingdom life has to be the blessing of the furnace; those painful moments that tempts one to quit.  Playing through the pain is a calling; not advice.  It is the path of discipleship.  America is full of church bellyachers and quitters because someone turned the heat up in the fiery furnace.  Yet deep believers consider that fires only purify the gold.

To put this on the street where we live, NEVER GIVE UP.  
Don't give up on your family, your friends, your enemies, your goals, your dreams.


If pain, limp but don't quit.  If insult, shed a tear but don't threaten to give up.
If betrayed, dare to look behind the betrayers' curtain to see who caused him or her to have such limited commitment.  NEVER GIVE UP.

If dull church, give it some life.  If meandering communicator in the pulpit, buy him a helpful book.  If presented with deep issues, pray.  BUT NEVER GIVE UP.

Miller's later comment, then, is fitting.  My suspicion is that only those who can bless the furnace ever understand the gold.

Bless the furnace.  See the gold.

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