As children of the heavenly Father, we can be grateful that He loves us enough to discipline us. Whatever He sends our way or allows to come into our lives is “for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness” (Heb. 12:10).

In the book Flashes of Truth, James Duff writes, “The colors that are painted on china are burned into the clay. Otherwise they would easily rub off. It is said that what is to become a golden color on the finished article is a dark liquid before the fire is applied. And the first two or three applications of heat obliterate all trace of color, which has to be renewed again and again.

“So it is with God’s dealings with us. No sooner has God finished a work with us than He plunges us into the fiery furnace of pain or sorrow . . . . What for? That through the fire, beauty of character—the heavenly Potter’s work—might be rendered permanent in us.”

Are you in the furnace of affliction? Remember, the heavenly Father loves you. If He didn’t, He would be ignoring you. In His great wisdom He is working to “establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Pet. 5:10). So even though you don’t understand His ways, you can trust Him and be grateful that He allows the pain that perfects!