Biblical Process of Refinement
“The words of the LORD are pure words as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Ps 12:6).
How many of us have had problems in our lives as big as boulders and have gone through experiences so crushing that we felt like we were nothing more than grey, useless sludge, only to be escorted into a fiery furnace! Is there no end? What is the purpose of it all? The Apostle James makes a startling comment when he encourages us to count it all joy when we fall into various trials. I am glad he said “fall”, because how many more of us would deliberately jump into trials with outrageous glee? (James 1:2). He also encourages us to ask GOD for wisdom (James 1:5), so let’s do. What does GOD reveal in His Word about the times we feel like we are in a furnace of affliction?
GOD says in Isaiah 48:10, “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” “I have chosen thee!” isn’t that comforting? (Mat 22:14). Not only called to follow Him, but we are also chosen by the Almighty GOD to be refined for the purpose of removing the useless dross in our lives. Sins, transgressions and iniquities are the dross in our hearts that has to be removed to bring forth a vessel for the refiner. The Word says that the refining pot is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, but the LORD tries our hearts (Prov 25:4; 17:3). David asked for the refining fire when he pleaded, “Search me, O GOD, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps 139:23-24).
What are some thoughts and wicked ways that our righteous GOD sees and is determined to reveal to us? (Ps 7:9). Surely He would remove the dross of spiritual blindness, unbelief, lack of love, blame, bitterness, unforgiving, jealousy, stubbornness, perversion, complaining, undermining, resentment, spite, revenge, self-pity, gossip, fear, worry, depression, on and on. All we have to do is call upon Him to show us where we grieve His Holy Spirit and ask Him to try us as gold is tried, and He will hear us (Eph 4:30-32; Zech 13:9).
Yes, He will hear us because He knows our hearts, and when He tries and refines us we will come forth as gold (Job 23:10). The trial of our faith is more precious than gold to Yeshua, even though it be tried with fire, so that it will be a praise, and honor and glory at His appearing (1 Peter 1:7). Yeshua said, “I advise you to buy from Me gold having been tried by fire that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, and your shame and nakedness may not be revealed. And anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and I chasten. Be zealous, then, and repent (Rev 3:18).
We are called to repent of those things that are unrighteous in our lives and walk in His righteous ways, preparing the way of the LORD (Mat 3:2-3). Then, we will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful to the Master, prepared to do every good work (2 Tim 2:21). We shall be purified, made white, tried, and being made wise we shall understand (Dan 12:10). Having been approved by GOD, the One trying our hearts, we will be entrusted with the gospel, not as pleasing men but please to Him (1 Thess 2:4). Isn’t that His whole purpose for all that refining? Yes, and may we come forth as refined gold, pleasing to Him! Amen!