The Refining Fire Redefines the Future

Silversmith refining silver with a blowtorch in a studio.

THE REFINING FIRE REDEFINES THE FUTURE

I heard about a group of ladies who were in a Bible study.  They came to a verse in Malachi 3:3 which says, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”  No one seemed to know what that meant, so one lady volunteered to find out during the next week.

That woman called a silversmith and asked if she could watch him at work.  She didn’t tell him about the reason for her interest.  She referred to it more as her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

She watched as the silversmith held a piece of silver over the fire and allowed it to heat up.  The silversmith explained that you need to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames are the hottest to burn away all the impurities.  That gave a mental picture to the woman who could see God holding us in such a hot spot.  

She then thought about that verse again: “He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.”  She asks the silversmith if he has to sit there in front of the fire the whole time he is refining the silver.  The man answered, “Of course, you not only have to sit there holding the silver, but you also have to keep your eyes on the silver the entire time it’s in the fire.  If the silver were left in the fire a minute too long, the flames would totally destroy it.”

The woman reflected more on what she had just experienced.  She then asked the big question, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”  He smiled at her and gave a beautiful answer, “Oh that’s easy.  I know it’s fully refined when I see my image in it.”

God is the silversmith.  We are the silver being refined.  It’s always easy to complain about being put into the fire.  We’re pretty good at that.  But we can never be refined until we go through the fire.

The next time you encounter something tough, rather than complaining, just ask yourself the question, “What impurities is God taking out of me and preparing me for something better?”  There’s always a purpose in the refinement – it is to produce the silver.  Refining our past redefines our future!

Notice that God won’t leave you in the fire too long.  He knows just the right moment to take you out of the fire.  It’s His timetable.  We might have other plans and want other things to happen, but life functions best when we live on His timetable.

The final test for being refined into what God wants us to be is whether or not God can see His image in us.  Do we reflect the image of God?  Do other people see God’s image in us?  

God still “sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.”  The process of refining and purifying is still the same.  Silver reflecting the image of the Refiner is still the result!  

The refining fire redefines the future!  (Tweet this!)

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