Ever heard the old saying, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire"? Usually we take it to mean that we got out of one mess and then got into a bigger one. Does it ever seem like that is what is happening in your life? In your spiritual life? Are you meeting with obstacles, with troubles, that try your patience and make you wonder why all of this is happening to you?
God has a lot to say in the Bible about how He can use that . . .
The refiner's fire has two uses when it comes to gold and silver: one is to prove it --- to certify that it is pure silver or gold. The other is to improve it --- stray particles of debris and impurities will be separated out by the fire melting the metal; what's left behind is improved and purified.
In Psalm 66:10, David says, "For thou, O God, hast proved us, thou hast tried us, as silver is tried." The prophet Isaiah told us that God said, "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Paul tells us in I Corinthians chapter 3, "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." Not only our hearts, but our lives will be tried. That is a pretty awe-inspiring thought . . .
I think we need some help, here, don't you? I feel a little bit inadequate in the face of that responsibility. Let's look at what another prophet had to tell us. Zechariah is quoting God here (Zech. 13:9), and he says:
"And I will . . . refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."
He is here with us. He will always be here with us. Till we are there with Him. Thank You, Lord.
Lord, thank You for the promise that You not only know my heart, but that You will hold it, and You will hear me when I call.