1Yr_Home_Pastor“My strength is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9. Diamonds are beautiful and valuable, but their beginning is common carbon – black, dirty, and combustible.  Through years of intense heat and high pressure, they become pure and strong.  This makes them a good metaphor for spiritual strength; God uses intense outside forces to rid us of impurities and to perfect His strength in us.  When we experience the fiery furnace of suffering – whether physical or emotional, whether persecution from without or humiliation from within – God’s loving purpose is to make us pure and strong. Suffering is the fire that God uses to purify and strengthen us.