Life teaches us one thing that there is “No Escape” from troubles and problems, worries and distress for anyone on the face of the earth. No one can be a fugitive to life’s struggles.
So, going through the furnace of affliction in life is a process to decontaminate from things that contaminate us. I believe this is good for ‘life’ because it brings about perseverance; and perseverance brings character; and character brings hope; and hope does not disillusion us.
The goldsmith refines gold placed in a metal container over the hottest fire and then as the gold begins to melt and bubble in the heat, all the scum, the impurities and contaminations would rise to the surface. He would then skim them off as they rose up and he would go on skimming until there is no impurity left in the gold. The hotter the furnace, the more impurities are brought to the surface.
Then the final testing would be to look into the surface of the gold to check if he is able to see his own face mirrored in the gold.
Likewise in our life’s furnace of affliction – all our conceit, selfishness, pride, anger, rebelliousness, deception that contaminates our character is skimmed off. This skimming goes on till we reflect God’s nature in us and then when the process is successful; we will be taken out of the furnace, shining as gold.