Refining


This article I had written and was published in the monthly newsletter “Family Encourager”.

*************************************

REFINING

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV)

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how much God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.

Paul said that we can rejoice in our suffering. Not because we like pain or deny a tragedy, but because we know God is using life’s trials to build our character. Whatever the problem we are facing rather it is finances, children, home, marriage, or health issues be confident that it will strengthen our character, deepen out trust in God, and give us greater confidence about the future.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)

So be happy, truly happy. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

As gold is heated, impurities float to the top and can be skimmed off. Steel is tempered, or strengthened, by heating it in fire. Likewise, what we experience from trials, struggles, and persecution refines and strengthens our faith, making us useful to God. Begin today to view the trials in your life as part of the refining process that is preparing you to meet Christ.

“Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”” Daniel 3:28-29 (NKJV)

King Nebuchadnezzar had ordered everyone to bow down and worship the idol that he had set up, with the warning that whoever refused would be thrown into a blazing furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego chose to stay true to their beliefs, regardless of the consequences. As a result, the king acknowledged the power of the one true God.

Remember that the way you choose to handle your situation serves as a testimony to others. Rely on God to help you stand strong so that others will be convinced of God’s power.

No one likes to experience hardship and pain, but these three passages reveal that the trials that God allows in life can be good for us and helpful to others. If we depend on Christ’s power during difficult times, our character will be strengthened. In fact, our faith is often proven to be genuine through suffering—not through an easy life. The manner in which we deal with our trials also testifies to the power of Jesus Christ. The next time you feel overwhelmed by life’s situations, look for ways that God is bringing good out of it.

“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”

Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50: 15-21 (NKJV)

God brought good out of Joseph’s calamity. The misfortune in his life taught him that God brings good from evil for those who trust Him. You can trust Him because, as Joseph learned, God can override people’s evil intentions to bring about His intended results.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” Corinthians 1:3-5 (NKJV)

A lot of people think that when God comforts them, their troubles should go away. But if that was true, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him.

We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer the more comfort God gives us.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the stress and pain in your life, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are going through similar experiences.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV)

That is why we should never give up. Our bodies might be dying, but it is our spirits that are being renewed daily. When looking at the big picture”, our current troubles are small and they won’t last long compare to glory that greatly outweigh the troubles and the glory will last forever! So don’t look at your troubles or misfortunes, but instead fix your eyes on things that are unseen. For the things seen will soon be gone, but the things we can not see will last forever.

Your faith through your trials should be increased instead of being diminished. You should realize that there is a purpose for your suffering. Believe it or not, trials have several benefits:

(1) They remind us of Christ’s suffering for us;

(2) They keep us from pride;

(3) They prove our faith to others; and

(4) They give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2-3 (NKJV)

James does not say IF you face trials, but WHEN you do, you should be joyful!  Consider this time of your life an opportunity for great joy! For when our faith is tested, our endurance has a chance to grow.

When we are facing our trials, we shouldn’t have a painted on face… a fake smile or pretending to be happy, but instead have joy knowing what the outcome will be.

God never promised that it would be easy, but He did promise that He would never leave you nor forsake you!

“For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:  “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”” Hebrews 13:5b-6 (NKJV)

May God bless you and your family!

This entry was posted in Encouragement. Bookmark the permalink.