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How Does God’s Refining Process Bring Us Closer To His Purpose?

I’ll be honest. 

There are so many times I have tried to understand how God works. 

As you’ve already guessed, I’m still not any closer to understanding his ways than when I started 5+ years ago. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten anything out of the search.

For starters, I now better understand why difficulty and pain are part of life. The concept of  God’s refining process has helped me make sense of chapters like Psalms 119:71: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” 

Before, when pastors talked about how suffering benefited us, Christians, I would look at them like they had grown two heads. As if they were these non-human people who did not know the meaning of hardships, pain, or frustrations. 

Years later, I am now learning to appreciate suffering, hardships, and all the uncomfortable issues.

In Isaiah 23, the bible tells us of a country known as Tyre. It’s a majestic country, gaining lots of its profit from harbor activities. In this chapter, Isaiah prophesies that the county’s source of income will be taken away. 

For 70 years, the renowned Tyre will be forgotten. 

No mention of their name. No one will remember who they were.

This chapter got me thinking about the refining process we Christians must go through to be established in God’s will and purpose. God’s refining process is not always fun. It’s uncomfortable sometimes and mostly painful. 

Most times, we won’t always understand the process or why we have to go through the pain, the hardships, or the consequences of a fallen world. 

Just like gold, God may allow us to go through a refining fire that is usually painful. At times, the purpose of fire is to break down our idols. Other times, it makes us stronger, more trusting, and with greater faith.

In God’s refining process, our idols, sins, worries, and anxieties are broken down without fail. In their stead, God replenishes our spirits with endurance, faith, trust, and contentment.

If we hold on a little bit tighter to God during this season, we can come out of the refining process stronger and with more faith and wisdom. 

Isaiah’s prophecy on Tyre taught me two important lessons:

It may be painful, but God does what he has to do for us to fulfil our purpose

The Promise by The Martins is one of my favorite songs. It reminds me that God did not promise a life synonymous with easy or smooth. But he did promise to be there throughout the refining process.

He may have to:

1) Deny me for a little while

2) Refuse me sometimes

3) Show some tough grace when I’m in the wrong

God knows that at the end of the refining process, we will have more endurance of hardship. He knows that at the end of it, we will embody the character of Christ and eventually build our hope.

His righteous people shall enjoy providence, peace, and more…

Yet, even through the refining process, God’s righteous people shall not lack. He shall be their providence, their peace, and salvation. Take a look at Isaiah 23:18

After the end of 70 years, Tyre will resume her place as the sea’s superpower. The country will continue to make profitable business. However, this time, her profitability will be for the sake of believers. 

I don’t know about you, but this chapter gives me so much hope. 

It’s a reminder that even through God’s refining process, he is thinking about you and me. He still has the best plans for us in mind, and he will always be there to take us through even the hardest moments.

Here are some verses to pray through during God’s refining process:

Weeping is only for a moment, morning is coming! 

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: 1 Peter 5:10I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. Romans 8:18

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