“He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.
For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.
You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our back
You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”
Psalm 66: 9-12
From the end of 2016 until now, I have experienced many challenges. I lost childhood/college friends, my new job was more stressful than it had to be, my perspective on family members changed, and myself and the man that I was deeply in love with, officially ended whatever we were still holding on to. I have never felt so alone in one season.
I could feel myself fighting a break down. You know those seasons in life where just getting out of bed needs a prayer, taking a shower needs a prayer, leaving the house needs a prayer, returning home needs a prayer…Everything I did, I needed to pray to God to provide me with strength before I could complete anything.
Prior to this season my life externally was great. I had all that I wanted and more. However, my focus was on my own desires, my own promotion, my own success. I did not consider during this season how my actions were affecting those around me or who in my life was affecting me negatively. Slowly, but surely I began to realize I had to let some people go and I needed to treat others better.
Cue the refining.
By definition, refinement means: to remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance.
A few days ago God led me to the Bible verse quoted above. The words that stuck out most to me were: “He preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.”
This came in perfect time because I was facing weariness. I was so drained from praying/studying His word and was looking for something new to cling to; I needed a recharge. I asked God prior to coming across the verse, to show me His favor. Show me I was doing the right things. He heard me and taught me that the beauty in those four verses lie in the process of refining silver.
A silversmith takes the silver, holds it over the fire to let the silver heat up. The silver must be held in the center of the flame(hottest area) to burn away all the impurities. The silversmith MUST hold and watch over the silver the ENTIRE time; not leaving the silver in too long, which could, in turn, destroy the silver. Finally, the silver is fully refined when the silversmith sees his reflection in the silver.
4 conclusions can be made from this process about God testing and refining us.
- There is something in you worth refining. However, there is many layers on top that hide your true value. ” The Lord disciplines the ones He loves.” Hebrew 12:6 -It is a good thing that God cares about you enough to want to have you refined.
- Sometimes to get those internal impurities out, God has to hold you over the center of the flame (the hottest area of the fire.)
- God, just like the silversmith, does NOT abandon you (the silver) ; nor does He take his eyes off of you (the silver). Too much heat could destroy you. He is mindful of what you can and cannot handle.
- Finally, the moment God can see Himself in you, usually this is a good indication that your test will be over soon.
I realized, the refinement process is so beautiful. The results are silver turn into beautiful dishes, jewelry, and/or household silver. After silver is refined, it can be used for better things. God has a plan for you. However, for you to live out that plan, He has to refine you and prepare you for the next level that He wants to take you. If you can cling to His Truth and take delight in it and His love for you, I promise you; you will love the refinement seasons and the seasons right after the refinement; more than the seasons you reap the benefits of the refinement. God is not leaving you in this seasons!! He is with you and will not take His eyes off of you. Isn’t it comforting to know that He knows just the right amount pressure he can apply to you before the means won’t justify the end? You are His and as long as you use His truth as your guide. You footsteps will not slip!
“The rain falls on the just and unjust.” Trouble, pain, and heartache are inevitable for everyone- the “good and bad” people. Your response/faith, however is your choice. When you focus on “Why is this happening to me?” You can’t focus on what needs to be refined internally to get you out of that season.
I would like to close out with Romans 5: 3-4 : “but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
When you are tested you are being encouraged to develop you character. If you step up to the plate and pass the test by following and living out God’s truth you will be rewarded. If you follow the steps of the world and respond how man would then you will also be given your “reward.”
These seasons should not discourage you, but just like Paul mentioned should provide you with hope. If God allowed you to continue as you are you may slip, you may not reach the destiny He has for you.
If you are reading this and going through your own tribulations then I am here to tell you that: Something beautiful is about to happen ! Learn God’s word, love Him, live out His truth and be the best you can be and you will see that beauty sooner than later.