Bible Reading: Malachi 3:2-3
God sees us as already holy and fully accepted in Jesus, but desires to make our lives increasingly like His Son Jesus. To be holy is obviously more than God declaring us holy. It is a journey. If we were already perfect we would not need to put off what is the old nature and continually put on the new nature [see Ephesians 4:22-24]. There would be no need to grow in grace
[2 Peter 3:16] and John would not have to write, “if any man sin” [1 John 2:1].
In order to purify us God allows us to go through trials that refine us. In Malachi we see a picture of the Lord as a refiner. The refiner heats the fire until the dross in the precious metal rises to the surface and then he scoops off that dross and impurity from the metal. It is said that he does this until the precious metal is so pure that he can see his face perfectly seen in the metal.
Christ comes as the purifier and refiner of His people. His goal is that we should be increasingly pure until one day we are totally conformed to the image of Jesus. Whilst going through this earthly journey this is an on-going process, but one day we shall be like Him [see 1 John 3:3].
The trials that we go through to refine us are not easy and it almost seems as though they get tougher the longer we walk with the Lord. Remember that the ultimate test for Abraham was the call to give his own son as an offering to the Lord. He was one hundred and twenty years old when that test came!!
God’s Word says that trials are important because our character is changed for the better when we go through trials [see Romans 5:3-5]. What particular trial have you been going through recently and what has God been teaching you in the trial?
The testing of our faith produces patience and leads us to spiritual maturity [James 1:2-4]. Our attitude to this testing should be joy because of what it produces in us. Will you now begin to be joyful and thank God for the refining that He is taking you through?