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Once I saw a story which went like this: The ore was put into the fire for refinement. It complained that the fire devoured it, while the fire said if the ore didn’t undergo such refinement, it would always be a stone. Finally, after being tempered in fire repeatedly, the ore was turned into a piece of stainless steel. Only then did the ore come to its senses and thank the fire for making it experience a complete change and become useful.
From this story, we can see that it was through a great deal of smelting and refinement that the ore was finally turned into quality steel. Without these refinements and sufferings, the impurities in the ore wouldn’t have been removed, and the ore would never have been made into steel, nor would its value have been increased.
In real life, we, just like the ore, also want to live peacefully and easily without any hardships of refinement in our belief in God. Therefore, after many years of belief, we have no progress in our spiritual life. There are even many believers who only seek happiness and comfort and are not willing to experience the trials and refinements coming from God. They, though enjoying the blessings from the Lord in their lifelong faith, don’t obtain the truth or the true knowledge of God. And in the end, as they don’t understand the significance of belief in God and fail to live out a worthy life, their faith won’t obtain God’s approval.
God prophesied in: “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” (Zechariah 13:9). From this prophecy, we can see that experiencing trials and refinements is a necessary path for us believers to attain salvation. For only through experiencing God’s work of refinement and purification in the last days, can our corruption get cleansed. And only then can our faith, love, and the knowledge of God increase, and can we have true reverence and adoration for God.
It is just as a passage of words says: “The truth is not inherently possessed by man, and is not easily understood by those who have been corrupted by Satan; man is devoid of the truth, and devoid of the resolve to put the truth into practice, and if he does not suffer, and is not refined or judged, then his resolve will never be made perfect. For all people, refinement is excruciating, and very difficult to accept—yet it is during refinement that God makes plain His righteous disposition to man, and makes public His requirements for man, and provides more enlightenment, and more actual pruning and dealing; through the comparison between the facts and the truth, He gives man a greater knowledge of himself and the truth, and gives man a greater understanding of God’s will, thus allowing man to have a truer and purer love of God. Such are God’s aims in carrying out refinement” (“Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God”). From these words we can know that trials and refinements are painstakingly arranged by God to perfect us. Only when we accept them with courage like former apostles and prophets, can we understand God’s loveliness, cast away our corruption, and become a well-pleasing vessel to God, just like the ore which was remade entirely into quality steel after being tempered.
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The Offering of Isaac - Genesis 22 1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said to him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get you into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of. 3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, Abide you here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar on the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. The Sacrifice Averted 11 And the angel of the LORD called to him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not your hand on the lad, neither do you any thing to him: for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. 15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, said the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice. 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelled at Beersheba. Recommended: God Treasures One Who Can Listen to His Word and Obey Him Why Did God Command Abraham to Sacrifice Isaac? The Work of God’s Management and Salvation of Mankind Begins With Abraham’s Offering of Isaac God Only Cares About Those Who Are Able to Obey His Words and Follow His Commands
The Crossing of the Jordan (Joshua 3:1-17), And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
Jonah's Prayer Jonah 2:1-10 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, And said, I cried by reason of my affliction to the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and you heard my voice. For you had cast me into the deep, in the middle of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all your billows and your waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet have you brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in to you, into your holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah on the dry land. After reading the tale of prophet Jonah, I was moved by God’s love! The people’s wickedness in Nineveh had come up before God. Jonah rejected the call of God because he was not willing to see God save these people who committed many evil deeds. It can be seen that man is selfish and has no love for others while God’s love is selfless. He sent Jonah to Nineveh again to convey His will. Finally, the people in Nineveh had truly repented and gained God’s tolerance and mercy. From this we can see that God has devoted tremendous His efforts to mankind. God is unwilling to destroy humanity as long as there’s half a chance. He hopes mankind can continue to exist. Extended Reading: The Creator Expresses His True Feelings for Humanity The Creator’s Sincere Feelings Toward Mankind Only the Creator Takes Pity on This Mankind Knowing God: Is God Always Merciful and Loving?