“See I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”-Isaiah 48:10
The Refining Process
Refining is a process in which impurities are removed from oil, metals, and not surprisingly, Followers of Christ. The refining process begins with something in a crude state being turned into something useful. The impurities are extracted with chemicals or heat, resulting in the purest form.
So why do we need to be refined? Could it be our character and habits need to be purified? Is it because God has a wonderful plan for what we will become and a refining season will help us get there?
What does the refining process look like for a child of God? Most often He uses trials and setbacks, sickness and loss, pain and heartache. He often uses the people closest to us, including our spouse’s and children. Perhaps He’ll use our boss, coworker or neighbor.
Now you’re excited! Stay with me.
Most of us are cruising along in life, loving Jesus, going to church, growing in our faith and then BAM, something bad happens. When the trial comes, we’re stunned! We ask all the questions because we’re disappointed. We question our loving God.
“God, if you are good, why is this bad thing happening?”
“God this is too hard! I can’t do this and why do you think I can?”
It’s at this point most of us begin bargaining with God. We volunteer in the nursery, or say things like, “God, if you do this for me, then I”ll do that for You.” Our motives become completely messed up or we get mad and disappointed and some even walk away from God all together.
Another way we cope with pain is we try to find the fastest way out. We rebuke the devil, a million times, because, let’s face it, the devil is out to destroy us. We pray like crazy, we pour over the Promises and we exercise our faith. Remember when Jesus said, say to the mountains be removed and we have that same power. And then the mountain isn’t removed. Then what?
The Enemy comes and lies to us about God. He tries to convince us God has abandoned us in our time of need. He criticizes our puny faith and he stomps all over the words of truth ringing in our minds, and he convinces us God is withholding His best.
What If God Is Up To Something?
What if God is allowing this trial and it’s not an attack of the Enemy?
What if God set this trial in our lives for a holy purpose?
What if surviving this season of refining would bring us the most personal growth we’ve ever experienced?
What if this was the season we would lay down that sin or habit we’ve tried to release for years?
What if by partnering with God, we would experience an intimacy with Him that only we could have dreamed of?
I’m so excited to take us on a journey these next months of discussing the refining process. I’ll be sharing some of my seasons of refining and I’ve invited some friends to share their own Refining Stories.
I’m approaching this topic with much grace and empathy for your pain. I will endeavor to avoid trite Christian advice. I want to teach from the Word and help us gain a healthy perspective on our trials and pain and how God is in the midst of it. I’m simply hoping we open our hearts and let God change us.
“This trouble your in isn’t punishment, it’s training.” -Hebrews 12:7
Dear Papa, Help me open my heart to seeing my pain and problems from a different perspective. I want to see Your goodness but I’m having a hard time now. I want to open my heart to you and surrender to the work You’re doing in my life. Holy Spirit I invite you to change me. Change my thoughts, attitudes, actions and words. Thank you for not being mad at me, You’re simply training me. Give me strength to learn and grow. Amen.
Maybe this will help?
I’ve included a guide to help you navigate a refining season. Click on the image below and leave your name and email so I know where to send it.
*artwork and digital design by Patricia Morris at https://www.patriciatiffanymorris.com