In the Old Testament, God is referred to as the “Refiner.” This is because one of the things God is doing in the lives of the people who believe in him is refining their life from all the junk that can fill their souls. His goal is to make us pure and holy to be more like him.
The work of refining our lives is usually explained alongside pain and suffering. In Isaiah, he says to the people of Israel, “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10 – NIV 2011)
God does not refine his people like gold or silver in the fire, but rather in the furnace of pain and suffering. Sometimes God allows us to walk through difficult seasons to purify our hearts and minds. The difficulties force us to make choices and focus on what is essential.
As a believer, I want my life filled with blessings and good things. I do not want to think of my life purposely moving through any affliction. Yet, the Bible affirms that sometimes the best teacher in life is the school of hard knocks because this is where we learn to rely on God completely. In the end, you will have your faith that is worth more than gold. (1 Peter 1:7)