Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10
All of us have a deep desire to be chosen. We want to be set apart, special. We want to be the one “picked”. If we are true disciples of Christ, we desire to be chosen and used by Him. We long to somehow be useful in His Kingdom and bring honor to our King.
Our Lord knows these longings because it is He who has placed them there. He knows more than anyone else that our becoming useful in His Kingdom will bring us true joy and satisfaction. He also knows that as we are, we cannot be used to our fullest or know Him as we truly desire. He knows that without intense refining, we will not truly bring Him glory. He even knows that He has given us gifts and talents that He allows us to use, but that without purification, even those will only be a little helpful as we will use them and He will not truly get the glory and we will not grow into their full use.
All of us are given gifts and callings when we come into the Kingdom of God. The scriptures tell us that many are called but few are chosen. How can you know that you have been chosen? You will know by the heat of the fire. It is the fire that cleanses and purifies. It is the fire of afflictions and trials that brings us into intimacy with the Refiner. It is the vessels in the fire that require His closest attention.
“God’s choice makes chosen men choice men… We are chosen, not in the palace, but in the furnace. In the furnace, beauty is marred, fashion is destroyed, strength is melted, glory is consumed; yet here eternal love reveals its secrets, and declares its choice.” Charles Spurgeon
The goldsmith has to watch carefully in order to bring the vessel out right on time- before it completely melts but also when it is soft enough to be molded in His skillful hands. Then, right when there is a bit of relief from being removed from the fire, there is the pounding of the hammer to mold and shape. It is a tiresome process but when the finished product is held up for inspection, the face of the skillful Goldsmith is reflected in the vessel. Oh how magnificent that a once useless vessel is now a reflection of the King!
Take courage if you find yourself in the middle of a fiery trial. The Lord is near as He has promised and since He has chosen you for this very affliction, you are guaranteed success in this process as long as you trust Him. Never try to avoid or exit the fiery trials that must come. Even if you should find a way of escape, the results would be far worse than the fiery trial itself. Trust Him. He has done this many times and knows exactly what He is doing.
More For Meditation
Zechariah 13:9 ESV
And I will put this third into the fire, and refine 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.’”
1 Peter 1:7 ESV
So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 5:10 ESV
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Job 23:10 ESV
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
Proverbs 17:3 ESV
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.
Psalm 66:10-12 ESV
For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
1 Peter 1:6 ESV
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
Psalm 66:10 ESV
For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
Hebrews 12:29 ESV
For our God is a consuming fire.
Malachi 3:3 ESV
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.
1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 43:2 ESV
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
1 Peter 4:12 ESV
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
Isaiah 1:25 ESV
I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.
1 Peter 4:12-13 ESV
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Luke 3:16 ESV
John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Daniel 11:35 ESV
And some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.
James 1:2 ESV
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
Titus 2:14 ESV
Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Daniel 12:10 ESV / 9 helpful votes
Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope
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