The Merciful Fire of Trials
Founder, Refined Family
Kerry Tittle is a mother of 10 children and a 20+-year homeschool veteran. She is the founder of Refined Family. Her desire is to honor Christ while comforting others with the comfort she has received from the Lord.
Merciful? When I was younger I was always told that mercy was being spared of what you really deserved. It seems counterintuitive that trials can be merciful.
During my journey, I have noticed that there are several references to the Refiner’s Fire in Scripture. I will be honest, the dawning lightbulb over my head was a long time in coming. I had the hardest time reconciling trials with good. But when the “aha!” moment came, it had been after years of searching.
The way to understand trials as good and merciful is by identifying yourself as the ore.
You are the ore. By definition, ore is material that contains a valuable element. You have this as well because you were made in the image of God. But the value is hidden and work is needed to reveal it . The Refiner will break up the hardened rock. (Remember you are the ore…that won’t feel good.)
and the LORD tests hearts.
As much as the dark places seem more comfortable than the furnace, the Refiner loves you too much to leave you in the darkness. He has broken the fallow ground of your heart and is beginning a work in you that He will bring to completion.
You are still the ore. The fire is hot, very hot, and it gets more intense. At this point we are tempted to believe that the Refiner has left us or doesn’t care about us. But the truth is a Refiner can never leave a project in the furnace. If it is left in too long or not long enough, it’s ruined.
As the Refiner watches the impurities come to the surface, He will pull the crucible from the fire and remove the “dross” that has formed on the top.
Whew! It’s over! No not really. He places the crucible back in the fire and makes the fire hotter. Wow, this doesn’t seem like good news for the ore.
and the smith has material for a vessel;
Each time the Refiner replaces the crucible back in the fire, He will look closely at His image. The more dross He removes, the clearer His reflection will be. This is purification.
When the refining process is done, there is a mess where the refining took place, but there is also the finished product, a product that reflects the Refiner’s image!