Refiner’s Fire

Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”

Salvation is truly a beautiful thing!

To know that all my sins; past, present, and future are all forgiven, frees my spirit, calms my soul, and allows my mind to be at rest.

It would be nice if it would stay that way, but, alas, we are but newborn babes once we are saved. To become the soldiers we are called to be, we must begin training. For those who have ever served in the military, you know the paradigm shift in culture and perspective.

To accept the new way of life as a child of God can take some interesting turns. God, as our Father, now wants us to learn and grow. Learn more of Him and grow to fulfill His will and purpose for our lives.

That growth comes by way of testing and trials. A soldier will undergo intense training to prepare for all situations they may face. Though none can prepare for all, much preparation is better than little to none.

We shy from the trials because there may be pain involved. We decline to enter the test before us because the outcome seems hidden from us. We fear because we cannot have the control we crave.

In all our trials, there will be a need for humble acceptance; a willingness to allow a force far more significant than ourselves to mold us, shape us, and transform us. We must take God at His Word.

1 Peter 1:6-9 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

We are told that the outcome far outweighs the weight we will bear. The trial of our faith is one that will come. Not might come, or, could come. It will. God tells us that we will face trials, temptations, mountains, and valleys. Though we may fear, God tells us that we will not be alone.

So many ask the question, “Why?”

I have found that I have learned more about my God through the trials than any other method. It could indeed happen by knowledge alone, but the more profound meaning comes when it applies to our lives personally. 

Fire is a fierce element. It can destroy as well as refine. Every person who has ever lived will face a final fire they must pass through. 

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Whatever makes it through the fire will last eternally. What earthly things we’ve done that has no eternal merit will burn in this fire. At last, we will receive a reward.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

The possible pain, grief, and suffering of the trial you are facing will not, nor cannot compare to what’s on the other side. 

The other part of the trials we face is for the Lord to try our hearts. Most men can boast of what is they CAN do. But what they are is shown in the fight. You can say you run fast, but, until I see it, I must have faith that you are telling me the truth. 

We can say that we love God, but it will be revealed in how we live for Him. 

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

To hear some talk, you would think they are Uber-Christian. To see them live, the luster of such words become tarnished quickly. We should allow our lives to reflect the very Light of Christ, but we cannot fail to speak up and let all those around us know who we serve and why. 

We fear to put ourselves out there because we might fail to reach or maintain what feels like high expectations. We gain far more credibility when we approach life with our eyes toward Heaven, and our ears tuned to the Spirit of God. 

Our trials are not exclusive to us.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

It is common to all men. We all face trials, heartaches, and sorrow. We will all face death one day. I find comfort in the thought that God knows and is faithful to see me through any and every trial. 

Take comfort, my friend, that God has not left you to face your trials alone!

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