Refined by fire. Most of us have heard this saying. Being refined like gold and silver is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testament. So...How does the refining process work?
First you have to find the raw ore. Hammers and picks were used in Biblical times. Much like today's processing practices, you have to go down deep and bring up the raw ore. Sometimes, we to, have to go down deep to bring up those places that are like the raw ore. It can be difficult to locate our raw places. We are adept at hiding our hurts. We may find that we have to hammer away at these places, over and over, but eventually we pull out that raw ore. Then the refining process continues.
Next the ore is placed into the refiner's fire. It's put into something called a 'crucible'. This is a container that is able to withstand high heat. While in the crucible the 'Nobel' metals will separate from the 'base' metals when subjected to intense heat. That's called the dross. The impurities are removed, over and over again, until only the proved gold remains.
It can be hard and feel severe when we are being refined. Life's difficulties, and our own hurts, can sometimes send us hurtling into the fire. Before you know it we can be hit with a blast of the refiner's furnace. Thank God that we are contained by a 'crucible'. Yep, Jesus is our Crucible.
Jesus is right there with us. He is the container that holds us whenever we have to walk into and through that fire. He is always there with us when the dross, or the baser parts of us, are being refined and removed.
The refiner always stays with the metal, watching it and waiting. Waiting for the change and then gently removing the dross or the impurities. What is the intention of the refiner? How does he know when he is finished? He knows he is finished when he sees his reflection in the Noble metal.
Bam! Yes! Proved genuine gold. We are watched over, contained and held close, as the impurities are removed. Refined, so that our baser instincts are removed and His Nobel qualities remain. We are refined until Jesus is seen in our reflection. Our faith proved like gen-u-ine gold. Refined by Fire.
1 Peter 1:7 MSG
"Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory."