Samuel Rutherford once stated that we should “praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace.” He went on to explain that the “hammer molds us, the file shapes us and the fire tempers us.” All three experiences of course are painful, but we can praise God for them because we know and love the God who wields them.
A. W. Tozer, commenting on Rutherford’s statement, wrote, “The devil, things and people being what they are, it is necessary to use the hammer, the file and the furnace in the holy work of preparing the saint for the sainthood. It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.”
(Gene Getz, Joseph: Overcoming Obstacles Through Faithfulness. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1996, p. 109.)