Controlled fires help restore nutrients to soil, which can lead to future plant growth and create ideal areas where certain animals can thrive.  Controlled forest fires help manage weeds, brush, shrubs, and trees. Such managed burning can prevent wildfires that could destroy lives and property. Fire often symbolizes hard life experiences. The Apostle Peter encouraged Christians who were suffering difficulties to realize that their fiery trials served a valuable purpose. We read this in 1 Peter CH 1: “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” As with believers in Peter’s day, so it is with us today. We need not go looking for trouble; it’ll find us. But when it does, followers of Christ can regard it as God’s controlled burning—to burn away dross and refine our character for our Lord’s highest purposes.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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