Monday, May 9, 2011

Refiner's Fire

And the words of the LORD are flawless, 
like silver purified in a crucible, 
like gold refined seven times. Psalm 12:6
As I read Psalm 12 this morning, I had time to reflect upon verse 6 and the “refining fire”. There are many scriptures that refer to this refining process in God’s Word. It is always about the hot fire that burns away impurities in our lives that seems to develop our character. It takes heat to burn away the impurities in our lives, which means that there will be pain, suffering and discomfort. In other words, there is a price to pay and we should expect the uncomfortable in this process. If we want to be more like Christ in our life journey, then we need to be willing to pay the price that is required.  When we want to be refined, we need to know that there will be fire and when we are going through that process, we must learn to endure. There are so many scriptures that support us enduring these times and one is to consider it "pure joy when we are going through the suffering". Do we enjoy the suffering, no way! But to get to the end result, to the pure silver that comes from the refining process, it is worth it in the end. The hardest part is to see that when we are suffering, we are in the refining process and when it is done, we have been perfected by the Father’s fire.  Some may endure the suffering better than others and others may get discouraged, feel defeated or want to give up. It is my opinion, that when we are in the period of refinement, we need to always keep our eyes on the final result of this process. What may help us get through these times is to know that God will NEVER give us anything that is too hard for us to bear. He will allow just enough fire, just enough pressure, just enough pain for us to go through in order to skim off the impurities. What is important, is to go through the examine process when the silver has cooled. When the refining process is over, we are to look back and see, “how did I endure?” or “how can I do it better when I am being refined”. This is a process that will help us analyze how we reacted to this process so that the little trips that the enemy tried to throw in there, can be avoided next time. I think about a situation that I just went through and I felt discouraged and I needed to cry it out. I cried, felt badly and began to feel the sadness creeping up on me. I realized that I needed to let it go, not dwell on it and begin to take my thoughts captive. I could not change the situation but I could control my reactions. So I choose to not sit in my pity party and get up and go out and get a bite to eat. I choose not to allow the enemy to steal my peace. For that, I learned a great lesson, when I am in the refining process and learning how to deal with disappointment in my life, I can choose how I respond and then the Lord is purging out all the impurities. These impurities were the emotions of discouragement that was invading my thoughts. I had to get out of it and distract my mind. Now, a day later, I look back and ask, “how could I have done that better?”. God had me go through this for a purpose and I needed to review how I did and know how I can do it better next time, when I am under the refining fire of God. I need to stand in truth through God’s Word as the water that quenches the fire! I am grateful for the analogy today of the refiner’s fire in Psalm 12 and how the Lord will use situations in my life to build my character and to get me to respond to life’s challenges better. I need to pick myself up and see how God has used the disappointments in life to build my character.
Question: Have you been under the refiner's fire lately? How did you do?

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