For You, God, tested us; You refined us as silver is refined…we went through the fire and water, but You brought us out to abundance. – Psalm 66:10,12 CSB
What if we started to think about how the struggles we go through are refining us? In our sin nature, we were born with impurities that keep us from being pure silver that reflects the light of our Savior. Without the refining process, we would remain that way – dull and lacking luster. But God has so much more for us! It’s been said that even though God loves us as we are, He doesn’t want us to stay that way!
God does the work of refining so that the ugly stuff that dulls our luster can be separated out and skimmed away. The process may not be fun, but the end result will be better than anything we could hope for.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – James 1:2 NIV
There are many examples in the Bible of God’s people being refined by trials. Job lost everything and struggled to understand why until God finally answered Him and restored his life. Noah suffered years of persecution and weeks of floating over the flooded earth before he emerged to see the first rainbow. Joseph was sold into slavery and then wrongfully imprisoned before he saw God’s plan unfold as he saved his people from a famine. Ruth lost her husband and left her family to travel to a new land where she eventually met Boaz and became the grandmother of David and the relative of Jesus. David spent years in hiding for fear of being killed while he waited to take his rightful place as King. None of them understood the struggles they were experiencing until they got to the other side, and each of them learned things about God and themselves in the process.
When we are in the midst of the refining process, we should consider the impurities that are being pulled out and separated away by our Refiner. We should celebrate the fact that with each new trial, our luster is getting brighter and one day God will bring us out to abundance.
But He knows where I am going. And when He tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. – Job 23:10 NLT