Thursday, July 3, 2014

Refining Fire

From "Mining & Refining" by Paul Tripp:
...Why do we experience painful suffering and burdensome trials? Why do we face unexpected complications and uninvited delays? Because God is in the process of refining His children that He has mined from the mass of humanity.
You see, God's "boiling process" or "refining fire" (Malachi 3:2) is always for our benefit. It will often be painful, but think again about the metallurgy example: a refining process is always meant to produce the highest level of beauty and strength. If you want your best life now, it will be achieved through the process of refinement.
John Piper says it this way: "He is a refiner's fire, and that makes all the difference. A refiner's fire does not destroy indiscriminately like a forest fire. A refiner's fire does not consume completely like the fire of an incinerator. A refiner's fire refines. It purifies. It melts down the bar of silver or gold, separates out the impurities that ruin its value, burns them up, and leaves the silver and gold intact."
During these moments of refinement, you will be tempted to believe two anti-gospels:
  1. These moments of refinement are signs of God's unfaithfulness and inattention. Incorrect! The gospel tells you that refinement is the sure sign of God's presence and love in your life!
  1. God's love is shown to me by giving me whatever I want, whenever I want it.False! If you were wise, you wouldn't want all the things your sinful heart desires, and, God's love will actually remove those things for your benefit.
So, friends, when these trials and grievances come your way, preach the gospel to yourself and to others. God could not love you and be satisfied with leaving you as a piece of ore. You have so much potential in Christ, and the Lord will refine you so you can reach your highest level of strength and beauty!