Counseling One Another

Helping you grow in God's all-sufficient truth and grace

Counseling One Another

Furnace, Hammer, and File

Yesterday, one of my associate pastors encouraged me to read a chapter in A Portrait of Paul, in which the authors expound on how the apostle Paul maintained a Godward focus and joy in the midst of his suffering. The chapter opens with this powerful quote from Charles Spurgeon. What a wonderful reminder it is of the eternally-profitable work God is up to in the variety sufferings that fill our lives as believers in Christ!

Glory be to God for the furnace, the hammer, and the file. Heaven shall be all the fuller of bliss because we have been filled with anguish here below, and earth shall be better tilled because of our training in the school of adversity.

As we endure various trials, let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us maintain the perspective the apostle penned in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Print this entry

7 Comments

  1. Reminds me of the famous quote “When God takes me out of the oven I want Him to say Well Done” :)

  2. How comforting. Someone once told me that whatever we go through here is as bad as it is going to get for us! Once we get through the worst of it (which is nothing compared for those who are unbeleivers) we have forever in paradise! We are blessed to share in Christ’s sufferings, for He went through more than I could ever go through in my entire life. Yet He had peace…and it turned out for not good…but GREAT.

  3. Learning to live with an eternal perspective and for a bigger picture…

  4. I just finished your final chapter in Counsel Your Flock and appreciated the reminder that our reward for faithful shepherding will come when the Chief Shepherd appears (1 Pet. 5:4). The humorous quote at the end was nice as well–(paraphrasing) the stones thrown at leaders during their lifetimes will be used to construct their monuments when they are gone. May we remember whose perspective matters most!

  5. I really appreciated the quote above: “Heaven shall be all the fuller of bliss because we have been filled with anguish here below…” Looking forward to the joys of worshiping the Lord in heaven.

  6. When looking back on the circumstances and things that God has placed in my life and then looking to my life now, I like to try to think of all I have been through as a privilege. I love that my relationship with God and with others is deeper–that my understanding of what true love and sacrifice, of what heaven looks like, is much different and much closer to what Christ would have it as a result.