Why does God take us through the fire?

Answered by Frank Schwing

God takes us through the fire for several reasons. Firstly, he uses fire as a means of chastening or disciplining us when we stray away from him. In Hebrews 12:5-11, it says, “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.'”

Just as a loving parent disciplines their child to correct their behavior and teach them valuable lessons, God disciplines us when we go astray. He does this out of love for us, wanting to draw us back into a right relationship with him. The fire of his discipline can be painful and uncomfortable, but it is ultimately for our own good.

Secondly, God uses fire to keep us on our knees, to humble us and bring us to a place of dependence on him. When we face trials and challenges that feel like a fire burning around us, we are reminded of our need for God’s help and guidance. It is in these moments that we are driven to our knees in prayer, seeking his strength and wisdom to navigate through the flames.

Fire has a purifying effect. Just as gold is refined through fire, our faith and character are refined through the trials and hardships that we face. The fire burns away impurities, leaving us purer and more like Christ. It strengthens our faith, as we learn to trust God even in the midst of the fire. James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Furthermore, God uses the fire to shape us into vessels that he can use for his glory. Just as clay is molded and shaped by the heat of a kiln, we are molded and shaped by the trials we face. God uses these experiences to develop our character, strengthen our faith, and equip us for the work he has prepared for us. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

In my own life, I have experienced the fire of God’s refining and shaping process. There have been times when I have strayed from God’s path, and he has lovingly disciplined me to bring me back. It was not easy to go through those times, but looking back, I can see how they have shaped me into a stronger and more faithful follower of Christ.

I have also faced trials and challenges that felt like a fire burning around me. In those moments, I was humbled and driven to my knees, seeking God’s strength and guidance. It was through those experiences that my faith grew deeper, and I learned to trust God even when everything seemed uncertain.

God takes us through the fire for various reasons. He uses it to discipline us when we stray away, to humble us and bring us to a place of dependence on him, to refine and shape our character, and to equip us for his work. While going through the fire may be painful and uncomfortable, we can trust that God has a purpose in it all and that he will ultimately use it for our good and his glory.