"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiners fire and like launderers' soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3: 2, 3
I read in a newsletter this last week about a woman that went to a silversmith to learn more about the process of refining silver, and she asked the man how he knew when all the impurities were purged by the intense heat. The silversmith told her that when he could see his image in the silver it was refined. What a powerful analogy of God's purification process that He uses to refine His people.
When God can see His image in us it means He has purged away all the impurities and dross that pollutes His treasure and we are His treasure. God uses the fiery trials of life to purify His sons of ungodliness and to refine us just as pure silver. The more that the heat is turned up the more the imperfections of the flesh burn away. The more of us that burns will reveal more of Him that remains.
Beloved do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. I Peter 4: 12,13
Every man and woman of God has experienced the fiery trials that come into our lives to purge us from self and to make us more like God. We must be forged in the trials of life and baptized in the fire of His Spirit to truly become His instruments of righteousness. From the time that we become born again until death, God will continue His work of purification in us until we shine as the stars of heaven.
I will never forget my first experience in metal shop at school when our teacher instructed us in making chisels. The first step involved heating the metal until it was almost white hot and then hammering on the end until their was a sharp edge. When the chisel was finally formed it was dropped in water to cool to allow the metal to be hardened thus producing an effective tool that could be used to shape something else.
To try and make a tool without the process of heating, hammering and cooling would only produce a worthless piece of metal worthy of the scrap yard. God forges His tools in Holy fire and hammers the imperfections until they are smooth and become useful and able to be placed in the Master's toolbox.
So, if you are experiencing the fiery trials and you feel that you are being hammered on, rejoice, its only God making another tool to be used in His workshop. Don't complain because He has chosen you to be one of His most prized possessions, His treasure in earthen vessels. Can He see His image in you yet?
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1: 6, 7
May the Lord open the eyes of your understanding and bless you with wisdom,
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen. Hebrews 13: 20,21