That small coffee bean goes through quite a long involved process before it finally makes it into my cup! But towards the end, just before the grinding and the brewing, there is that all-important step of roasting. The green bean is kept moving to avoid burning and turns brown at 400 degrees. At that point a fragrant oil is released producing that wonderful aroma and flavor.
Today’s verse is an encouragement to believers who are suffering for the name of Christ. Rather than be surprised by the intensity of the heat, we are to see it as normal. Suffering abuse and rejection for Him makes us participants in the suffering He endured for us! (verse 13) The Lord promises special blessing and an evidence of His presence (verse 14). The heat of the trial tests our faith and produces in us a stronger flavor and aroma of testimony. There is no shame in being insulted, rejected or marginalized. Instead, there can be praise and joy at this privilege!
The hostility I encounter at the name of Jesus Christ is surprising. The reaction seems so unwarranted and sometimes out of character from the person I thought I knew. The name of Jesus is a polarizing one. There may be additional difficulties in my life for proclaiming His name, but there is also additional blessing! The heat of the testing can make my faith stronger. Rather than discourage me, it can make firm my resolve to live for Him. My piddly little problems of being misunderstood do not even compare to what Jesus went through for me!
Thank you Lord, that You know and You understand.