2 Thes. 1: 3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. 5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering.
Do most people really want to have trials? If you asked someone today if they could have an easy day or hard day, which would they generally choose? I think the easy day. But should that be what the Christians chooses? Should we want to have an easy life? What do prosperity and ease bring to the Christian, more often than not? Complacency and apathy. This should not be our aim.
If we want to grow we actually should be asking God to put us through the trials that He has prepared for us to go through, knowing that those trials will test our faith and bring us the peaceful fruit of righteousness, that comes from being in the furnace. The furnace itself is not really a fun place to be, but the result of the work of the furnace is a glorified Christ, because the world will have to look on and see that there is no way this could come from inside of us, but has to come from God working in and through us.
1 Pet. 4:12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Knowing that the furnace can not singe even one of our hairs has to be an encouragement to us. God not only sets the temperature, but He goes with us in the furnace, like the fiery furnace in Danial's day. What Nebuchadnezzar meant for harm, raising the temperature 7 times as hot, God used for His glory. Who else but God could deliver those 3 young men out of the inside of the furnace, when the strong men who took them there died without even going into it? It is only God. Let us rejoice in the trials that God has ordained for us today.
If we don;t have trials along the way we should be concerned that God has not chosen us to be His children, because He purifies those He loves and there is nt purification without the heat of the furnace. Don' ask for an easy life; ask for the strength to endure the trials that God brings our way.
"The more furnace-work you have the sooner you will get home; for God will not keep you long out of heaven when you are fit for it. When all the dross is burned, and the tin is gone, he will say, "Bring hither that wedge of gold; I do not keep my pure gold on earth. I will put it away with my crown jewels in the secret place of my tabernacle of heaven." Spurgeon.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.