Zechariah 13:9 “I will bring them through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined by fire.”
Daniel 12:10 “Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials.
Do you ever find there are some times in your lives when you just want to give up; when things get too tough? You collapse out of spiritual, emotional and physical exhaustion. We ask ourselves ‘how can I continue on like this’? ‘Things are just getting too tough!’ Well it’s during these times that we have the greatest opportunity to grow into the people God would have us be.
The process of refining silver involves the silversmith holding the impure piece of silver in the blue centre of a flame, where the temperature is at its greatest. Only there are the impurities burnt away. The silversmith pays close attention as he supervises the process. One might ask ‘when is the silver fully refined or at it’s purest?’ To that question the silversmith will reply “When I can see my image in it.” God tests us all by leading us through trials, giving us the opportunity to develop our character into the likeness of Christ. We will all go through them! God uses the trials in our lives to test our commitment to Him; to see where our trust lies – in ourselves or Him. How we react and respond to the trials in our lives will highlight the integrity and maturity of our relationship with God. We may not all be spiritually wise, but God wants us to turn to Him at all times so that He may build us up, shaping our character and strengthening our faith. This is why we are to be joyous in times of trials. It doesn’t mean we put on a superficial ‘smiley face’, but rather know that God is working in these situations for our good and for His glory! By drawing close to God through prayer and bible study, honestly and humbly addressing our struggles with Him, He will purify and strengthen us to persevere on; so that we mature, not lacking in anything (James 1:4).
I remember a really trying time in my life whereby I went through a broken engagement. To say God refined me through that period was an understatement! God really tested my faith in Him by observing my response during this emotionally very draining time. It was exhausting to say the least. However I always tried to be honest with God about my struggles and mixed emotions, and even though there was much I didn’t understand, I continued to try and surrender all to Him each day. It’s often difficult to see God’s work and blessings whilst going through the trials. However I remember during that tumultuous time in my life that every time I cried out to God for help, He always answered, giving me all I needed to push on! That’s the secret to successfully persevering through the toughest of trials – humbling ourselves to God through an honest and sincere relationship with Him and allowing His power to fuel us to push on! The flames of trials are hot, but God is always with us, seeing us through the process.
What trials are there in your life at the moment? Are you trusting and relying on God despite the circumstances? Are you drawing close to God and seeking His restoration, or are you trying to do it alone? Trials are never enjoyable at the time, but a mature Christian will acknowledge the work of God in them. They will see them as an opportunity to unlock the power of God in their lives, for anyone can be content when things are going well. However to be content and God-focussed when things are going tough will reflect God’s strong presence and peace in our lives.