“The Lord disciplines those he loves.” Heb 12:6 NLT

It’s important to know when you’re under attack—and when you’re not. One writer says: “There’s a tendency among Christians to view anything unpleasant as spiritual warfare, rather than admit we’re reaping what we’ve sown. For example, if you’ve neglected your role as spiritual teacher to your children, God may let them fall into sin. If you’ve been dishonest, He may let you face the consequences. ‘The Lord disciplines those He loves.’ It would be foolish to ask Him to ease your discomfort when He’s disciplining you to get your attention. How tragic never to make the connection. God’s discipline won’t help you if you dismiss it as Satan’s doing. If you misunderstand, you may blame Him for not answering your prayers or failing to protect you; meanwhile, God’s warning you of danger.”

“For a little while you may have had to suffer…that your faith…may be proved genuine” (1Pe 1:6-7 NIV). A blacksmith with a chunk of metal on the anvil envisions what he wants. But it means melting down the old, recasting it, removing scars, repairing cracks, filling voids, and purging impurities until what was useless becomes valuable. Finally he plunges it into cold water until it hardens into an unbending, useful tool. Max Lucado says, “An instrument is useful only if it’s in the right shape…A good blacksmith keeps his tools in shape…And so does God. Should He place you on His anvil, be thankful He thinks you’re worth reshaping.”