“The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.” Proverbs 17:3
Are you familiar with the process of purifying gold? The impurities are invisible from the outside, so the goldsmith must patiently and intentionally hold the gold over the hottest part of his fire, liquefying it. Only then will the imperfections hidden within rise to the surface so the refiner can carefully skim the dross until the surface is clear. This process is repeated until he can see his reflection in the purified liquid.
A good goldsmith never takes his eyes off of the fire or the gold. He must perfectly balance the heat of the fire with the vulnerability of the metal. Too much heat will ruin it, but too little will allow impurity to mar its God-given beauty and worth. It is a delicate balance that only a skilled goldsmith can be trusted to properly handle.
The fire of trials and suffering in our lives accomplish the same type of purification within our hearts as followers of Jesus Christ. Our goldsmith is the Creator of the universe who numbers the hairs on our heads. His hands are strong and gentle, His eyes filled with both determination and compassion as He watches the flames do their refining work.
Do you feel like you are melting under the pressures and hardships of life? A scary diagnosis, a job loss, a wayward child, a broken relationship…all of these serve to reveal the hidden (and not-so-hidden) imperfections in our hearts. When we cooperate with God’s work, the dross of selfishness, unbelief, pride, and other sin will bubble to the surface so that God’s grace can take it away.
So the next time you feel the heat, remember that this is not a curse, but a blessing. It is evidence that God loves you and is working in your life. “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7).
Dear Lord, thank you for continuing to refine me, mature me, and grow me in my faith. Help me to recognize the refining fire you're using in my life and to find peace and comfort in the fact that you are using even my toughest circumstances to make me more like Christ. In Jesus' name, amen.
Topics: Trials and Tribulations