Have you ever wondered how a lump of black ore turns into something as valuable as gold? The process of transforming this tarnished piece of earth into a treasure is called smelting. This process uses pressure, high heat, and chemicals to remove the impurities from this mined rock so that it can be used in its purest form for treasures.
The final stage of gold production is the refining process. Once again heat is used to pull out any remaining impurities that were left by the smelting process.
The very definition of refine is to remove unwanted substances, to improve something by making small changes, and to become pure.
As God's children we are refined in order to fully become the treasure He created us to be. He loves us as we are, but He also loves us too much to allow us to stay in a place where contamination hides the beauty that He placed within us.
His refinement process is not a pleasant one, but is necessary to remove the pollution from our hearts and the dirt from our lives so that we can be used in our purest form.
Isaiah 48:10 “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
Life may have you in a refinement process now.
Work may be stressful with deadlines staring you down, co-workers who don’t seem to carry their load, or the new boss who micromanages the team.
Your professor may have surprised you with a massive project that counts as half your grade, due at the end of the semester, adding to the stress of a full load of classes and a part time job.
The prodigal child you have been praying for has not returned home.
Just when you thought you could see the light at the end of the financial tunnel disaster strikes and the progress made is lost.
When we allow God to use life’s trials as His purification process, we are refined (unwanted substances removed, improved by making small changes, made pure). When we choose to turn to Him in the midst of the process, our hearts are cleansed. When we allow God to work in us, our faith is transformed.
1 Peter 1:7 “These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Affliction is a period of testing. Testing proves if our faith is genuine. Can we praise God IN our situation even if the circumstance of our situation is not praiseworthy?
2Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
With God we can confidently walk through the refinement process knowing we will not be destroyed, but will come out better than before.
2Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
If you are walking through the refiner’s fire rest in the promise of God that His grace is sufficient for you.
Lord, may we trust in your faithfulness in times of trial. May we look to You and not our circumstance. May we hold tight to Your grace when we feel weak from the blows of life. May the impurities of our hearts be drawn out by this process so that we can be the pure treasure you created us to be.