Endurance for the Journey, Faith, Featured

Refined by Fire, for God’s Good Purpose By Randy Alcorn

For we know that God causes everything to work together for the good
of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

God tells us that trials in which evil and suffering come upon us “have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7)

God refines us in our suffering and graciously explains why: “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this” (Isaiah 48:10). For emphasis, God repeats the reason.

In my novel Safely Home, set in China, Li Quan voices what some Chinese Christians actually say: True gold does not fear the fire.

Job says of God, “He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold’ (Job 23:10). Fire strengthens those it refines. They do not seek the fire, but neither do they shrink from it.

In the journal she kept during her cancer years, Nanci recorded these verses and quotes:

And I will put this third into the fire, and test them
as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name, and I will answer them.
I will say ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘the LORD is my God.”

“The fire only refines; it does not destroy. We are to be brought through the fire, not left in it. The Lord values His people as silver, and therefore He is at pains to purge away their dross. If we are wise, we will welcome the refining process rather than decline it. Our prayer will be that our alloy may be taken from us rather than that we should be withdrawn from the crucible. Oh Lord, you test us indeed…still this is your way, and your way is best.” Charles Spurgeon

“If God intended for all the days of your life to be easy, they would be. No, in grace, He intends for your days to be His tools of refinement.” Paul David Tripp

Then Nanci wrote:
I love you, Lord. I trust you. I thank you for your tender mercies in all that you do. Wrap my heart in your sovereign grace and love. Thank you, Lord, for valuing our faith in you so much that you test and strengthen it through adversity.

Written with permission by Randy Alcorn and Eternal Perspective Ministries. http://www.epm.org/

Excerpts taken from Randy Alcorn’s Blog. Please learn about Randy’s new booklet to be released this summer, Grieving with Hope. https://store.epm.org/future-products/

On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky