Once I saw a story which went like this: The ore was put into the fire for refinement. It complained that the fire devoured it, while the fire said if the ore didn’t undergo such refinement, it would always be a stone. Finally, after being tempered in fire repeatedly, the ore was turned into a piece of stainless steel. Only then did the ore come to its senses and thank the fire for making it experience a complete change and become useful.
From this story, we can see that it was through a great deal of smelting and refinement that the ore was finally turned into quality steel. Without these refinements and sufferings, the impurities in the ore wouldn’t have been removed, and the ore would never have been made into steel, nor would its value have been increased.
In real life, we, just like the ore, also want to live peacefully and easily without any hardships of refinement in our belief in God. Therefore, after many years of belief, we have no progress in our spiritual life. There are even many believers who only seek happiness and comfort and are not willing to experience the trials and refinements coming from God. They, though enjoying the blessings from the Lord in their lifelong faith, don’t obtain the truth or the true knowledge of God. And in the end, as they don’t understand the significance of belief in God and fail to live out a worthy life, their faith won’t obtain God’s approval.
God prophesied in: “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” (Zechariah 13:9). From this prophecy, we can see that experiencing trials and refinements is a necessary path for us believers to attain salvation. For only through experiencing God’s work of refinement and purification in the last days, can our corruption get cleansed. And only then can our faith, love, and the knowledge of God increase, and can we have true reverence and adoration for God.
It is just as a passage of words says: “The truth is not inherently possessed by man, and is not easily understood by those who have been corrupted by Satan; man is devoid of the truth, and devoid of the resolve to put the truth into practice, and if he does not suffer, and is not refined or judged, then his resolve will never be made perfect. For all people, refinement is excruciating, and very difficult to accept—yet it is during refinement that God makes plain His righteous disposition to man, and makes public His requirements for man, and provides more enlightenment, and more actual pruning and dealing; through the comparison between the facts and the truth, He gives man a greater knowledge of himself and the truth, and gives man a greater understanding of God’s will, thus allowing man to have a truer and purer love of God. Such are God’s aims in carrying out refinement” (“Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God”). From these words we can know that trials and refinements are painstakingly arranged by God to perfect us. Only when we accept them with courage like former apostles and prophets, can we understand God’s loveliness, cast away our corruption, and become a well-pleasing vessel to God, just like the ore which was remade entirely into quality steel after being tempered.
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