refined, not consumed

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The Lord has been pleased to put me in the fire; but, blessed be His name—I am not burnt! Oh, that I may be brought out refined, and that the outcome may be to the praise of His grace and power! The Lord drew near in the day of distress, and gave me some degree of peaceful resignation to His will. Yet my evil heart of impatience and unbelief displayed itself, and I have the greatest reason to lie ashamed in the dust, and cry “Unclean, unclean!” But truly God is good; He considers my frame; He remembers that I am but dust. He delights in mercy—and therefore I am not consumed.

Our faithful God will surely make our strength equal to our day! It will not be long before He will wipe away all tears from our eyes. Therefore let us not fear—whatever sufferings may be yet appointed for us—they shall work together for our good! They are but light and momentary, in comparison of that exceeding and eternal weight of glory to which we are drawing nearer every hour!

The day is coming when all the Lord’s people who are scattered abroad, who praise Him in different ages and different languages, shall be collected together, and stand with one heart, consent, and voice before the throne! Oh, the glorious assembly! How white are their robes! How resplendent their crowns! How melodious their harps! Every hour the chorus is augmented by the accession of fresh voices! Before long we hope to join them! Then shall we remember the way by which the Lord led us through this dark wilderness world; and shall see that all our afflictions, our heaviest afflictions, were tender mercies—no less than our most pleasing comforts. What we shall then see, it is now our privilege and duty to believe.

“I will bring this third through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire!” Zechariah 13:9

exerpt from a letter by John Newton

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