Standing Firm

The Road to Men's Summit

Live It Out

The Fire That Refines

April 19, 2024

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NLT

When you experience tragedy, trouble, hardship, adversity, affliction, misfortune, or grief in your life, be glad. This may be the exact opposite of what you think is reasonable in those moments, and you’re not alone. Let me put it another way: when life becomes difficult and you are met with vast challenges, see them as opportunities to endure with faith that God will lead you to the other side.

We are told in the book of James to consider our trials as opportunities for pure joy, because the testing of our faith produces perseverance. This means that our faith motivates us to not give up. We have persistence and tenacity, the effort required to do something and keep going until the very end, even if it’s hard.

Likewise, Jesus was preparing us for what to expect from life when he told us in John 16:33 that in this world we will have trouble. The Greek word for trouble, tarassō, has eight meanings, including agitate and make restless. Trials and trouble are tools God uses because He is more interested in our character than our comfort. He lets us become restless and agitated so we can come to know that He is the peace and comfort we need.

Lastly, we see in Hebrews 12:1 that we are called to unload our weights and sins and run with persistence or patience, the Greek word being hupomone, which means to “stand under”. As such, we are to stand under God in our relationship with Him, and under discipleship and accountability from those close to us. Both are vital to maintaining a healthy spiritual walk.

It's an age-old trope that men should learn to just deal with their pain, their anguish, their strife. However, we have a new perspective of this because God has equipped us with the tools to endure hardship. Fire refines metal, so like a blacksmith refines his sword by putting them in the fire, God refines us in our most difficult of circumstances. He has not forgotten us, but He is testing our strength to ensure we have the tenacity to keep our faith in Him. Now, we have the opportunity to really lean into Him, confide in our brothers, and let the fire we walk through make us stronger and more durable for the future.


Father, test my strength. Test my ability to rely on You. Like a new sword, let the fire of my difficult life moments make me stronger. Patience and endurance is hard, but I know that if You are beside me, then I have nothing to fear. Remind me of this so I can embrace these moments rather than run away. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Extra Reading

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

Hebrews 12:1 NLT

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”

James 1:2

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