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When I was in high school, we used to sing a song called, “Refiner’s Fire”. The lyrics said, “Purify my heart / let me be as gold and precious silver / purify my heart / let me be as gold pure gold / refiner’s fire/ my heart’s one desire is to be holy / set apart for you, Lord / I choose to be holy / set apart for you my master / ready to do your will.” There’s some more to this powerful song, but this is the part I want us to focus on today. It’s a prayer giving God permission to use fire to get the junk that doesn’t belong out.
I’ve seen a couple of shows where they show how they refine gold. The fire gets so hot that the gold melts. When that happens, the impurities come to the surface. The refiner then takes it off the top so when the gold cools, it’s pure. What a great picture of how God works in our lives. Difficulties often bring the worst in us to the surface. We can choose to have these impurities removed from our lives or we can be bitter. I believe God tries to purify each one of us to help us become the person He created us to be. Don’t run from the Refiner’s Fire. God is doing a work in you through it.
Here are some verses on being purified through the refining process.
1. In the same way that gold and silver are refined by fire, the Lord purifies your heart by the tests and trials of life.
Proverbs 17:3 TPT
2. I will take action against you. I will purify you the way metal is refined, and will remove all your impurity.
Isaiah 1:25 GNT
3. I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, “These are my people,” and they will say, “The Lord is our God.”
Zechariah 13:9 NLT
4. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter 1:7 NLT
5. Lord, you can scrutinize me. Refine my heart and probe my every thought. Put me to the test and you’ll find it’s true.
Psalms 26:2 TPT
Windsor Castle, the winter home of the Queen of England, was partially destroyed by a fire in 1992. As I walked through the rooms that had been restored, I couldn’t help but marvel at what great work they did to make it better than before. In one such room, there was a green urn. It weighed over two tons and the firemen couldn’t move it. The urn had also filled with water making it even more heavy. They were upset they wouldn’t be able to save it, but had to move on to things they could.
What they didn’t expect was that the water in the urn would preserve it. The water turned to steam and heated the urn. The malachite that covered the urn simply peeled off and dropped to the floor. After the fire was put out, they found all of the pieces of malachite laying there. They picked them up, cleaned them, and the restoration crew was able to painstakingly put them back on the urn piece by piece. It was one of the longest restoration projects from the fire.
In Mark 9:49-50, Jesus said, “Everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or later, but you’ll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames” (MSG). Each one of us are going to go through fires in this life. Jesus made that clear. It can destroy us or we can rebuild from it. He promised us that we would be like that urn if we have Him inside of us. The flames may scorch and mar our outsides, but what’s in us will keep us from being destroyed.
I’m living proof that you can be rebuilt after the fire. When I looked at the pieces of my life laying on the floor after the fire, I thought things were hopeless, but God saw it differently. He took those pieces and painstakingly put my life back together piece by piece. Because of the restoration He did in my life, I’m closer to Him now than ever. If you’re going through the fire now, remember it’s not the end, but the beginning of a beautiful restoration to make your faith stronger and more refined.
We don’t have a choice of whether or not we will go through hard times. What we do have a choice in, however, is how we choose to respond. We can choose to look at hard times as if God is against us or that He’s making us stronger for something down the road. Some times they are a consequence of a past mistake. God rarely takes away consequences when we’ve chosen to disobey. No matter what though, He always offers us grace to endure.
God purifies our faith through hard times. I once watched an episode of “Gold Rush Alaska” on Discovery channel. Parker, who runs his grandfather’s mine, had been working all summer for gold. He took what looked like a lot of gold to the gold refinery. They heated it up and kept removing the dross from the top. In the end, he had a small bar no bigger than his hand. Though it was a small amount, it was worth more because it was pure.
God does that with our faith. He send us through the fire to remove the dross so our faith is pure. It may seem small afterwards, but it is more precious than gold. When I’m going through hard times, I like to read these verses. I hope they help you too.
1. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Psalms 23:4 NLT
2. My brothers and sisters, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure.
James 1:2-3 GNB
3. Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
1 Peter 4:12-13 MSG
4. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.
Psalms 34:19 NLT
5. But He knows the way that I take [He has concern for it, appreciates, and pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as refined gold [pure and luminous].
Job 23:10 AMP
6. For You, O God, have proved us; You have tried us as silver is tried, refined, and purified.
Psalm 66:10 AMP
7. The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting them in the fire; The purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little fame.
Proverbs 27:21 MSG
8. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honour on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:7 GNB
9. I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.
Isaiah 48:10 NLT
10. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:3-5 NLT