The fastest growth I have experienced in my Christian walk were always during "low" periods in my life. Like when I was waiting on God for a husband. That what when I learnt about God, learnt about His values, learnt that the best way for me to learn the bible is through study, and generally learnt about the value of mixing with the "brethren". When I was waiting on God for the fruit of the womb, that was when I learnt how to pray, I improved my worship style, and I learnt the importance of making out time for God. Now when I see someone going through a challenge and the person has chosen to walk with God, I know there is no way that person will not come out changed and a much better person. I know what the refiner can do...
A refiner is a specially skilled person who removes impurities or other unwanted matter from something (or in this context - someone). He knows the right temperature at which the unwanted matter will be removed. He sets and watches to ensure the refining process is done effectively. He knows when all the impurities are gone because HE IS ABLE TO SEE HIS IMAGE CLEARLY on what he is refining.
There are times when God allows us to pass through a fire in order that He may refine us, purify us, and bring out the best in us. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver [Malachi 3:3a, NIV]. God "sits" as a refiner and purifier. He does not see us in the fire and walk away. He does not let the fire get too hot (that we may be burned) or get too cold (that we may not come out refined as He intended). He "sits", watching closely and keeping the temperature right. What others may think would destroy us would make us stronger and much better people - if we allow God. And when He is done, everyone, including Himself, can see an image on Him in us.
This scripture is consistent with His promises. He said, "When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze" [Isaiah 43:2]. We know that "the trials in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the trial to be more than you can stand. When you are tried, He will show you a way out so that you can endure" [1Corinthians 10:13].
No matter what you go through, be rest assured that your loving Father is with you, watching, and ensuring that the situation does not burn you. In the midst of the situation, ask Him to show you what impurities He wants to remove or what characteristics He wants to bring out of you. His plans for you are always good - plans to give you the future you hope for.
May you feel an added sense of God's presence today and always.
[Post taken from "From The Heart Of A Loving Father - When The Refiner is at Work"]