A young friend recently wrote the following:
Q. I was just reading todays meditation, what do you mean by going through the refiners fire, and how do you do that?
A. The process is one of purification of precious metal by: fire. It has to do with the removal of impurities which would make the precious metal LESS than it should be.
In the Christian life, we are so often weighed down by our own selfish desires, petty ambitions, amusements or attractions which are temporal instead of eternal. We focus on the skin of the person next to us rather than the soul. We judge by the eyes instead of valuing the person. In short, we don’t reflect the image and glory of God.
How do we partake of this cleansing? You don’t “do” it as much as endure it. God is the One who oversees this process in your life. He sends you into the fire and takes you out according to His pleasure. And He does it for His glory.
What does He use to accomplish this? Adversity. Trouble. Rejection. Failure. The afflictions that come our way. In short, anything bad that we encounter, God is able to use to free us from the crust, grime and dirt of this world and our own selfishness and change us more into the likeness of Jesus.
Here’s a good story to go along with it:
Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse.” And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
One lady’s opinion was that it was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject. She went accordingly and without
telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her.
“But Sir,” she said, “do you sit while the work of refining is going on?” “Oh, yes madam, ” replied the silversmith, “I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.”
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression,
“He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace. His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had still further to mention, that he only knows when the process of purifying was complete, by seeing his own image reflected in the silver.
Beautiful example! When Christ shall see His own image in His people, His work of purifying will be accomplished.