When a potter starts out with a lump of clay it is wet and pliable. It can be shaped and molded into anything the potter wants it to be. 

Once the desired shape is formed the clay is then fired in a kiln where temperatures reach 1000-1600° C. That’s hot! While in the kiln, the heat causes reactions that permanently change the clay. This increases the strength and solidity of the object being fired. If it is not fired in high temperatures the clay will not be strong and will not hold up to any sort of use. It will dissolve or crumble.

“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

At first glance of this verse it says God has formed us as a potter forms clay. He molded us into who we are. But He didn’t just leave us as wet pieces of clay! He has to put us in the kiln to make sure we are permanently changed into something much stronger than when we started.

God never promised us an easy life. In fact, looking back on all the important people of the Bible it seems quite the opposite! Noah had to build an ark. Moses wandered years in the desert. Paul was jailed and persecuted many times for preaching the Gospel. But in each situation, while recklessly putting their faith in God, they were made stronger than when they started. 

The same thing goes for us. You might not be building an ark or be put in jail because of your beliefs, but you willface trials in your life. Instead of looking at it as being punished or that God has left you, think of it as a chance to be strengthened and made stronger than you were before. With our Lord by your side you will not crumble.

And when all is said and done, just imagine what a beautiful piece of artwork you will be when you emerge from the flames.