“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed.”
1 Peter 4:12-13 CSB
The refining process burns. There are several scriptures that compare our spiritual growth to the process of refining gold and silver (Proverbs 17:3, Zechariah 13:9, 1 Peter 1:7). Like removing impurities from precious metals, when things heat up in our life, God reveals changes we need to make.
It is common to view our circumstances as happening to us instead of happening for us. This is why James tells us in James 1:2-4 to count it joy to suffer because suffering produces steadfastness. Jesus never promised this process would be easy, but He promised to always walk through it with us.
Instead of running away from this process, can you trust Him to refine you?
1.) Is there a circumstance in your life that you have been trying to deal with on your own or pretend will go away? Ask God to help you find the refining moment in your circumstance.
2.) What trials has God brought you through in the past that you can celebrate now as a growing moment? Thank God for walking you through that process.
3.) Ask God to write you a letter about what He has been trying to refine in you. (Remember- this will not sound like guilt or condemnation. It will be gentle correction.) Set a goal for growth in this area over the next 4 weeks. Share with your group if you feel comfortable.