The searching, burning, purifying fires of Christ's furnace!
(Octavius Winslow, "Daily Need Divinely Supplied" 1870)
"He will sit as a Refiner and Purifier of silver — He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. " Malachi 3:3
"I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold!" Zechariah 13:9
O my soul, what deep need is there for this refining and purifying of your Lord . . .
what inward corruption,
what creature idolatry,
what God dishonoring unbelief!
All these imperatively demand the searching, burning, purifying fires of Christ's furnace!
My soul — your Refiner and Purifier is Jesus!
It is a consolatory thought that our refining is in the hands of Jesus — in the hands that were pierced for us on the cross!
Jesus shapes all your trials!
Jesus sends all your afflictions!
Jesus mixes all your sorrows!
Jesus shapes and balances all the clouds of your pilgrimage!
Jesus prepares and heats the furnace that refines you as silver and purifies you as gold!
Then, O my soul, tremble not . . .
at the knife that wounds you,
at the flame that scorches you,
at the cloud that shades you,
at the billows that surge above you.
Jesus is in it all — and you are as safe as though you had reached the blissful climate . . .
where the vine needs no pruning,
and where the ore needs no purifying,
where the sky is never darkened, and
upon whose golden sands where no storms of adversity ever blow, or waves of sorrow ever break.
Mark the Refiner's position. "He will SIT as a refiner and purifier of silver." It would be fatal to his purpose, if the human refiner were to leave his post while the liquid mass was seething in the cauldron. But there he patiently sits, watching and tempering the flame, and removing the refuse and the dross as it floats upon the surface of the molten ore.
Just so, Christ sits as a Refiner . . .
and with an eye that never slumbers,
and with a patience that never wearies,
and with a love that never chills,
and with a faithfulness that never falters,
He watches and controls the process that . . .
purifies our hearts,
burnishes our graces,
sanctifies our nature, and
impresses more vividly His own image of loveliness upon our soul.
If He places you in the fire, He will bring you through the fire, "that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."
But sweet and soothing is the truth that the believer is not alone in the fire! The Refiner is with us, as with the three Hebrew children passing through the king's burning furnace.
The Lord will have us be polished stones. As some believers are more rusty and some more alloyed than others — they need a rougher file, and a hotter furnace!
This may account for the great severity of trial through which some of the Lord's precious jewels are called to pass. Not less dear to His heart, are they for this refining.
Look up, my soul, to your Refiner!
The knife is in a Father's hand!
The flame is under a Savior's control!
Be still, be humble, be submissive.
"Heed the rod — and the One who appointed it!" Micah 6:9
"I was silent; I would not open my mouth — for You are the one who has done this!" Psalm 39:9