The Trials That Refine Us
Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we…refuse to let the world corrupt us.
James 1:27 NLT
God is raising up a generation of people who will manifest His glory, a people made in His image who will walk with His character. Living in this way is essential to what the Apostle James called “pure and lasting religion.”
Jesus is coming for a Church that is pure, without spot or impurity (see Ephesians 5:27), a Church whose heart is unpolluted by the world’s systems. To be made pure requires that we be refined. So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.
These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter 1:6–7 NLT
The higher the percentage of foreign substances in gold, the more susceptible the gold is to corrosion and corruption. Because God desires for us to be clean and uncorrupted, He allows us to enter the heat of trials that will remove our impurities. While God does not author tribulation, He allows us to go through trials so that we can grow, stretch, and learn—so that we can become more like Jesus.
What is God using to refine you? Take a few minutes to write down any trials you are facing. These may include difficulty in a relationship, a challenging decision that needs to be made, persecution in the workplace, or a financial need. What impurities do you think these trials can remove from your heart?
Go to God in prayer and invite the power of the Holy Spirit into these situations. Embrace the time of refinement and allow God to do a transforming work in your life!
Adapted from Victory in the Wilderness (Messenger International, 1992).