When our weeks change and new things arise, old questions often come back to us, that leave us feeling like: we’re not good enough, we don’t measure up, we’re not worthy; things that we maybe thought we’ve already tackled or overcome.
The truth is, we never go backwards with Jesus.
When we are confronted with these feelings, He wants to teach us new things to be strengthened in new ways, reminding us of the truth that He is our refiner and sees our potential far more than we can see ourselves.
Malachi was a prophet, the last before Jesus came and this is what is written in Malachi 3:1-3
'“BEHOLD, I am going to send My messenger, and he will prepare and CLEAR the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. But WHO can endure the day of His coming? And WHO can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap [which removes impurities and uncleanness]. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will PURIFY the sons of Levi [the priests], and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord [grain] offerings in righteousness.'
So, here is the story…
‘There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three they came across verse three which says, "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that, in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot - then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's the easy part -- when I see my image reflected in it."’
Jesus is our refiner and He sits with us until His work in us is COMPLETE. To Him, we are more precious than silver and gold, which is something I’m still learning myself; but because of this, He never leaves His children half finished.
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep His hand on you and watch over you until He sees His image in you.