For you, O God, tested us; you reﬁned us like silver.
One thing the Bible teaches clearly is that God tests His people. If we wish to belong to the people of God, then we must be prepared to be tested.
One vivid picture of the way God tests us, used many times in Scripture, is that of a metalworker purifying silver. In Bible times such a man would place the silver in a metal container over the hottest possible ﬁre. Then, as the silver began to melt and bubble in the heat, the impurities would rise to the surface in the form of a scum, known as “dross,” and the metal worker would skim them off.
He would patiently continue this process of skimming until there was no impurity left in the silver. The ﬁnal test of purity would come when the metalworker, peering into the silver, could see his own face mirrored there without distortion. Then he would know that all the dross had been removed.
That is just how God tests us—but the furnace He uses is afﬂiction. The hotter the furnace, the more quickly the impurities are brought to the surface. Gently and patiently, God skims them off with the invisible skimmer of His Holy Spirit. He goes on with the process until there are no more impurities and He sees His own image reﬂected in our lives. Then He knows that the process of reﬁning has been successful, and He takes us out of the furnace. “See, I have reﬁned you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of afﬂiction” (Isaiah 48:10).
Lord, I do not ask to escape the testing, but for grace to endure it, until You are satisﬁed with my life.
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