|He shall baptize you with fire| (Matt. iii.11).
Fire is strangely intense and intrinsic. It goes into the very substance of things. It somehow blends with every particle of the thing it touches.
There are the severe trials that come to minds more sensitive, to the minds that have more points of contact with what hurts; so that the higher the nature the higher the joy, and the greater the avenues of pain that come.
And then there are deeper trials that come as we pass into the hands of God, as we pass from the physical and intellectual into the spiritual nature.
When they first come, we shrink back from their unnatural and fearful breath, and we say: |Oh, this cannot be from the hand of a loving Father! This cannot be necessary to me.|
And then come the pains and sufferings from God's own hand, when He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver, when He lets it burn, until it seems that we must be burned to ashes, and we are, indeed, at last burned to ashes.
But we must get the victory through faith. The moment you cease to fear it, that moment it ceases to harm you. He says, |The flames shall not kindle upon you.|