Proverbs 17:3
The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

What is life, then, but a series of things God uses to rid our hearts of impurities, to pull from us those things of evil and darkness and sin and leave us with a pure heart.  Our hearts go to the flame, and sometimes that heat seems like too much to bear.  But the Master Refiner knows what He is doing.  He has perfected His craft and knows how much heat to apply and how long to leave it in that fire to get the results that He wants.  He knows exactly what it will take to make us what He wants us to be.  He constantly works in our hearts until they come out clean and pure.

So, will we allow God to lead us through this process?  Sometimes life is painful.  Sometimes the kinds of things we have to endure leave us feeling scarred, damaged, and broken.  Sometimes we feel like we’re drowning and will never make it back to the surface.  But God is there all along.  He is with us and knows what we’re going through.  He understands what pain is, what it is to hurt and face trials and hardships.  And He can use those things to make us stronger, to make us better, and to help us to be changed and transformed.

Because isn’t the end result something beautiful?  Doesn’t that old contaminated metal go in and come out pure and shiny and able to reflect the light that shines upon it?  And so when we allow God to work in our lives in this way, we come out looking beautiful because we can reflect Him.  When those old things have been removed from our hearts and lives, we become fit for our purpose, able to be used by God for whatever He wants us to do.  And we can come out of those places loving God more and knowing Him better and able to express that in praise to Him and service to others.

It’s not always pleasant, and we may not readily embrace that refining process, but let’s allow God to have His way.  Let’s trust Him with our lives and with our hearts.  Let’s submit to His working and craftsmanship.  And let us gain a new perspective on whatever trials we face and understand that God can use those hurtful things to make us better, stronger, and more useful servants for Him.