“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”
Adversity is always the ingredient that must be overcome before greatness is achieved. The airplane does not rise to great heights without the adversity of the wind. The ship does not sail to new lands without the adversity of the waves and wind. The athlete does not attain the championship platform without the adversity of opponents and workouts. The mountain climber does not experience the awe of the mountaintop without the adversity of the climb. Anyone who is going to experience the heights and joys of life must first go through adversity to enjoy them.
Likewise, the believer must face the adversity of the refiner’s fire before God can use them. Before the believer enjoys the close relationship with the LORD, they must first go through the refiner’s fire to be purified. The verse above gives several lessons about the refiner’s fire that should help every believer to understand the importance of the fire.
First, you are not alone in the refiner’s fire. The verse above says, “And I will bring the third part through the fire…” You will notice that you don’t go through the fire without the LORD bringing you through it. You never enter the fire alone, and you will never be left alone in the fire. You can always be assured that if the LORD prescribes the fire for your life that He will be there with you when you enter the fire, and while you endure it.
Second, the fire is the agent to transform the believer. Fire was the tool by which the offering of the sacrifice was transformed into a sweet smelling smoke in the nostrils of God, and fire is the agent God uses to transform the believer of Romans 12:2. You will never be transformed from the worldly human into a purified believer without facing the refiner’s fire.
Third, the fire tries the strength of the believer. In other words, the fire brings the believer to their limit. Nothing is ever refined without heat. The heat of the refiner’s fire is what tests the strength of the believer. You mustn’t wilt under the heat of the refiner’s fire, but you must let the fire prove yourself to you, to God, and to others. It is when you go through the heat of the fire that you realize the strength you have within you, and that strength is the presence of God. Likewise, the fire shows God that you are not going to quit, and it reveals to those around you that the life you live and testify about is worth living. Only the fire can reveal the validity of your Christian testimony.
Fourth, the fire removes those things that devalue the believer. As fire removes the dross from the silver to give it greater value, so the fire removes the flaws of the believer to make them a more valuable tool for God. You will never be used greatly by the LORD until you go through the fire. You will discover things about yourself in the fire that are hindering the LORD from using you. Let the fire help you see what you need to correct so the LORD can use you in a greater way.
Fifth, the fire builds the relationship between the believer and God. The greatest thing about the refiner’s fire is the relationship you build with God in the fire. The close relationship you desire to have with God will never be achieved outside of the refiner’s fire.