Have you ever thought of events in your life... ideas... purposes... decisions... being the ingredients that make you you? It isn't something I regularly think about, but it is something I am aware of. I am not the same person I was five years ago and I will not be the same person I am now, five years into the future. As much as years on this year affect our lives, I want to always trust that God is in control of every situation.
Psalms 66:10 says, "For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver." Are you familiar with the process of refining silver? I certainly am not. I knew it involved extreme heat...but 1,200 degrees Celsius of heat? That's 2,192 degrees Fahrenheit! I can't even fathom that! If an 350 degree Fahrenheit oven can make a gooey mess of water, flour, yeast and salt and beautiful structured loaf of bread...imagine what God can do with us.
I want to be molded by the hands of God and made more perfect for him. I want to be refined...for all my impurities to be burned out. Will it be a pleasant process? No. Will it hurt? Definitely. But, will it be worth it for eternity? Absolutely. How will I ever know if my faith is genuine if it is never tried?
My comfort is that during the refinement process, God will never leave me or forsake me. How do I know this is true? It is written in the Bible.
In Deuteronomy 31, when Moses announces to the Israelites that he will not cross the Jordan, but Joshua will lead the people, he encourages Joshua with these words:
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you, Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."And as if to put Joshua at ease, after Moses died, the Lord spoke directly to Joshua saying:
"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."So I know that whatever comes my way, the Lord is with me. And the Lord will take my imperfections and create something totally different...something beautiful.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation...