While we don't like the heat, maybe God wants us to stay in the oven.
REFLECTION & SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS:
- What situation are you facing that feels like the crucible?
- What might God be teaching you about yourself, others and God through the crucible?
- What do you need to keep your mind and heart focused on to help you through the crucible?
- How can someone support you through this?
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Welcome to the Resolute Mid-Week Devo. I'm here to help you hurdle hump day, and I hope your week is going well.
I am not sure if you know what this is or not, but this bowl is called a crucible. A crucible is used for superheating metals. Essentially, you place a metal like gold or silver into the bowl to superheat it. And because the crucible is designed to withstand higher heat than the objects placed in the bowl the metals in the bowl become pliable and a couple of things happen. First, there is refining and purifying that proves the metal. And second, there is shaping and strengthening that transforms the metal.
In life, we sometimes use the word crucible, as a metaphor, to describe painful or transformative experiences in our life. And while we don't like these crucible experiences, they will, just like this bowl, refine, purify, shape, and strengthen us. This happens to us both as a person and sometimes corporately in our family or church.
We can all think of a crucible moment we have had in our life. Maybe for you, it was a
• Long-term illness.
• Death of a loved one.
• Or major failure
• Or a Betrayal.
• Job Transitions.
• Physical Injury.
• Addition to a Family.
The problem we all have when we face the crucible moment is that we tend to run and isolate ourselves. In an effort to stop the pain from the heat of the experience we run from it. Most of the time this looks like not just running from the problem but running from individuals, relationships, community, and even God. I believe its human nature to run because we don't enjoy or prefer pain. No one likes it. What we prefer are experiences and relationships that are peaceful, comfortable and status quo.
For each us there we have a crucible pain-point threshold. Maybe for you, it's a confrontation, feedback, or even obedience. And I don't know what it is for you, but we each have our issues or superheated high pain points that seem unbearable.
But I think our problem with the crucible is not exclusively the pain, its remembering that the crucible holds within it two things - pain which refines and purifies, and transformation which shapes and strengthens. Listen to what Paul the apostle said into the Hebrews in chapter 12. It's great wisdom.
Paul says in Hebrews 12:11, "For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Paul does not deny that crucibles have pain, whatever the discipline may be. This training could be self-imposed discipline, or it could discipline imposed by others. And the heat is unpleasant. But notice Paul wants us to see the other side of the pain. It is the transformation of strengthening and shaping our righteousness. I believe he wants us to refocus. He helps us to lift or head beyond just the pain of the process to the benefits of the process.
The point being, we need to stay connected to the heat of the crucible before, we understand and realize the benefits of it.
I have been through some crucible experiences in my life and, everyone has taught me something. Something about myself. Something about others. And something about God. Each has purified, refined, shaped, and strengthened me but at the time was often terribly unenjoyable.
And God’s people individually and corporately are always refined through the crucible. That is how God does his work. Every situation in the Bible from beginning to end that holds significance to us had a crucible moment. Abraham and Isaac, Noah and the Ark, David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Stephen before the Sanhedrin, and Jesus before the Cross. In fact, Paul who wrote this knew the pain of the crucible. He had beaten, stoned, hated, left for dead, and beaten. This man knew what it meant to suffer for the name of Christ.
So today gentlemen I want to encourage you to suffer better. Embrace the crucible. Push through a little further. Endure a little longer. And become a better man.
Two things for you today.
First, if you are looking for a Men's Daily Devo, then you need to go to the link provided today. Every day we send out a short email with a scripture, thought, and action to keep you fueled by God's word and energized.
Second, if you want to take this devotional further follow the link provided and there are some reflection and small group discussion questions you can use on your own or with other men. Just have a dude you know to watch this short video and give and man a call and talk through the questions or use them in your small group.
Love you guys and I will see you back here next week. Till then -- be resolute.