Are you looking for a “clean” marriage with no fights or feelings? Well forget about it. Life is messy, and marriage is too!
There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.
At the age of 67, Thomas Edison’s factory was destroyed by fire. It was valued over $2mil and insured for $238,000. That’s a lot of money today, and back then, it was a lot more.
There are two ways to see disaster: (1) as a disaster, or (2) as a chance to start anew. Thomas Edison preferred the latter. Why? Because there is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up.
What we see as disaster is what God sees as a new start. We get bitter, discouraged, hopeless, and faithless when God isn’t in the picture. Then we have a hard time letting go. God helps us to burn away the excess, the mistakes, and the distractions to help us start anew.
This isn’t a bible study to help us look back on our limitations and bemoan our suffering. This bible study is about how God gives us fresh starts through the fire.
Everyone goes through hard things. Everyone suffers. Everyone goes through the fire.
If you are going through hell, the worst thing you can do is to stop, stay there for a while, and set up shop. If you are going through hell, keep going. Don’t quit, don’t give up hope, and don’t give up God. Instead, find God.
Going through the fire changes everyone. It is an unforgettable experience. The goal is to get our faith in God back and stronger than before.
Who Goes Through The Fire?
I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”
Zechariah 13:9 (NLT)
God picked 1/3 of the people at that time and decided to bring that group through the fire to make them pure. When we go through the fire, that means we are picked by God. As we go through it, we will rewrite our relationships with God. We will call on him and he will answer us. We will form an attachment to God that no one else can form.
God will say: these guys are mine. They have gone through it. They have the right stuff.
We will say: The Lord is our God. Nothing in this life is more important than God. We have tried other things—self reliance, ambition, humanism. None of it is worth anything. We reject it — we choose God. He is my coach, my parent, my leader. I am on his team. The future begins here.
When life is hard, do you want to be pitied or to be envied? When you follow God, you have the right attitude…
We are not to be pitied. We are to be envied. We have depth, our lives have meaning. All other distractions in our lives have been burned away.
Don’t come to us with empty platitudes. Your superficial formula’s don’t work. Don’t waste your time telling us to kiss before each meal, to look into each other’s eyes and say I love you. Read this marriage book together, pray together every day. We are dealing with cancer, mental health, Alzheimer’s significant sins, unfaithfulness, demanding careers, real life. Don’t tell me you have a good marriage because you don’t fight. You have an empty marriage. We fight, we argue, we are messy. That is what it is to go through the fire.
Why Does Our Faith Need to Be Tested?
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:6-9 (NLT)
Be glad. Be joyful through the fire. When we lose our grip on God, we become hopeless and faithless. When we get God back, we find joy no matter what the circumstance.
Fire tests our faith. Our faith is the most valuable thing we have. It has to be tested so that it is strong for what lies ahead. What is God preparing you for? Who are you supposed to help? What does your future hold? Trusting God leads to the salvation of your souls. Saving yourself and saving people. Growing and helping people grow. We are going through the fire so we have the faith to live the future
What does it feel like to go through the fire? It burns. Health problems, kid’s diagnosis, job stress, financial challenges, extended family issue, aging parents, emotional health, unfaithfulness, etc. These are the challenges that burn.
The question is: how do you handle the burn? Do you isolate and seek comfort? Do you become envious, jealous, bitter, or resentful? When you do, everything in life becomes about relieving the pain of the burn, and it only becomes more unbearable… or we can find God.
36 He let you hear his voice from heaven so he could instruct you. He let you see his great fire here on earth so he could speak to you from it.
Deuteronomy 4:36 (NLT)
We can hear God’s voice in the fire. Burn away all distractions and focus on God. Are you listening to God? Or do you only listen to people and to yourself? We need to get ourselves in a spot where we can hear God’s voice. God wants our attention and he wants to speak to us. What is God trying to tell you?
Finding Our Purpose Through The Fire
And everyone in the world will see that I, the Lord, have set this fire. It will not be put out.’”
Ezekiel 20:48 (NLT)
But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!
Jeremiah 20:9 (NLT)
When we go through the fire, some things get burned up and some things ignite. We want our hearts to catch fire. That’s when we get a passion for the things God puts on our hearts. Passion is born in the fires of life, and is where we combine faith and emotion. Passion = Faith + Emotion. The only way we find our destiny as a couple is to go through the fire and have our hearts ignited.
Try having these conversations as a couple and with God in prayer:
- Why am I here?
- Why are we together?
- Why do we have the family we have?
- Who needs us?
- How can we be used?
- What are we uniquely designed to do in this life?