Refining – will I make it through?

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“…the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold…” 1 Peter 1:7




The final stage of the refinement process. It’s not just “melting” because the process is more than just heat. Smelting also uses a chemical agent to pull the final oxygen atoms from the raw gold mineral. 


Spiritual smelting, like its physical counterpart, is an intensive time of weakness


David was intimately acquainted with the process. 


“My heart is like wax, it is melted within me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd” (Psalm 22:14).


In my own life, smelting times have included:


Phone calls to Mother without her recognition of my voice

Hospital rooms filled with the fear of my daughter’s paralysis

Disintegration of a much prayed for dream


There are times in the smelting that I wondering if I had any faith left. The words of Job and Jeremiah resonated more deeply than the words of Peter or Paul. 


“I cry out to Thee for help, but Thou dost not answer me; I stand up, and Thou dost turn Thy attention against me.  Thou hast become cruel to me” (Job 30:20-21)


“Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer…My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness. So I say, ‘My strength has perished, And so has my hope from the LORD.’” (Lamentations 3:8, 17-18)


I then remember that even Jesus went through this chemical melt down:


“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?’ that is, ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?’” (Matthew 27:46)


So how do we survive?


  • Pour out our hearts before Him
    • “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8)


  • Tell Him exactly what we are feeling
    • “I poured out my complaint before him; I declared my trouble before Him.  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path” (Psalm 142:2-3)


  • Force your mind to often remember His past acts of faithfulness 
    • “Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me.  This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.  The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  (Lamentations 3:20-23)


  • Wait for the Lord in silence, without worrying about what to say in prayer
    • “It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.  It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his youth.  Let him sit alone and be silent since He has laid it on him” (Lamentations 3:26-28)


Brother Yun, the “heavenly man” known for his persecution in China says, “We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure!  Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power.” 


May the purity of His life within you be evident as you reflect the hidden value of your inner man.