“He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD.”
Malachi 3:3 NLT
Do you ever feel like you’re in the midst of a fire? Or maybe “thrown to the wolves” is a more accurate description. We definitely feel like we have been thrown into the fire lately. We are feeling the heat, and some days, it’s really hard. I want to give you some encouragement that we have received this weekend.
Our pastor was preaching on this subject yesterday. It was such a powerful message. He reminded us that when gold is being refined, it has to be hot enough to refine the gold, but not so hot as to destroy it. When you are in the midst of the flames, have faith that it will not get so hot as to destroy you, but will be working to refine you and purify you. We have both been working through some legal challenges, and it can be overwhelming at times. We have faith that whatever the outcome, that God is using these trials to mold us into His image and into His plan for us. And we have to believe that His plan is good.
God provides for His children. Not just financially, but emotionally and spiritually. We have been feeling tired and weary, but this weekend, He provided refreshing waters to cool the flames. We were able to spend some time with friends of mine that I met through The Navigators when I was in college. They now live in Hungary, and I had not seen them in over a decade. We were able to connect over a meal and just spend some time in fellowship. We both left that meal feeling uplifted and encouraged (and hopefully provided the same in return). We also spent some time in fellowship with other small group leaders in our church. We were encouraged to hear how God is moving in their groups. We came out of that meeting refreshed and renewed.
The verse I keep coming back to when I need encouragement is this:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
I have to believe that all of the struggles, all of the frustration and pain….it is for a higher purpose. His Word tells us that His plans for us are GOOD! That doesn’t mean they will always be pleasant in the moment. But I know from past experience, times of trials have been the times when I have grown the most in my faith, I have discovered His strength in me, and I have grown closer to Him. God is good, all the time. And all the time, He is good. How many times have we heard that and just brushed it off? But have you ever internalized it…owned it…believed it…rested in it?
“I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’””
Zechariah 13:9 NLT
If you are struggling now with feeling like you’re in an all-consuming fire and you can’t see a way out, I encourage you to look to Him for guidance. Get into the Word and spend time with God. Listen to His voice. He will bring you through the fire, refined and pure. Reach out to people you know who have been through similar struggles and have found the way out. Find someone in your church who can pray over you and with you. You are not alone! If you would like us to pray for you, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are not counselors, but we will do our best to encourage you and help find resources in your area.