This blog post is for those of you who are experiencing the heat of the flames right now. I pray this story and the words that follow will encourage you to be refined by the fire!
The Refiner’s Touch
There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi.
As they were studying chapter three they came across verse three which says, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.
That week the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up.
He explained that, in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot — then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment.
Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”
He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s the easy part — when I see my image reflected in it.”
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep His hand on you and watch over you until He sees His image in you.
ISN’T IT WONDERFUL!?
MAYBE I CRIED WHEN I FIRST HEARD IT.
AND MAYBE I CRIED AGAIN JUST NOW WHEN I READ IT.
Just as a silversmith purifies silver, so God is purifying us. He uses our circumstances to shape and mold our character. We may not always like those circumstances, but we don’t have to like our circumstances to be changed by them.
In order to become more like Christ, we MUST be refined by the fire.
It’s a MANDATORY part of the purifying process. If we were never exposed to flames, our faith would remain stagnant and we’d stay in the same spiritual shape we’re in.
1 Peter 1:7 says, “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 (New Living Translation).”
It’s tempting to give in and allow the fire to burn and scorch our faith, discipline, and character. It’s hot, it’s painful, and WE ARE DRIPPING IN SWEAT (okay, maybe that’s just me). But these flames are not meant to consume us.
They’re meant to conform us until Christ’s image is reflected in us!
Give in to the purifying process. Have faith. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to the heat. Again, you don’t have to like your circumstances to be changed by them.
Trust God with the flames and be refined by the fire!
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