Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Refiner's Process

This post is taken from a speaking engagement this May in Bradley, Illinois. The occasion was a Mother/Daughter Banquet hosted by the Pembroke Fellowship Church of Pembroke, Illinois. The theme was Women Reflecting God's Brilliance.

Scripture References:
Revelation 21: 9-11; 22-23
2 Corinthians 4: 7-9; 16-18
Isaiah 48:10
Ladies, you’re a gem. Like the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, you are a precious jewel. You’re more precious than rubies. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are God’s masterpiece, his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do. You are valuable to God.

As a matter of fact, you’re so valuable and God loved you so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for you. He loves you so much that He has prepared a place for you. He loves you so much that He wants to have a relationship with you and fellowship with you. He has counted every hair on your head and bottled every tear that you have cried. He loves you so much that he has plans and a purpose for you. Plans to prosper you and to give you a future and a hope.

But to be the jewel that you are, God, Our Refiner, has to put you through the process. To make you shine, like you were designed to shine, you have to be formed and fashioned, made and molded. 

We’re all in process. A process is a series of actions, changes or functions bringing about a result. Process is also defined as progress. God is putting you through a process. That process has a purpose. He is perfecting you. He has begun a good work in you and He’s going to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)

 But  the process is painful. It doesn’t feel good. It hurts. But there’s a purpose for your pain. Just like the pains of childbirth produce the promise of a long awaited baby. Your pain is giving birth to something God has placed in you. Your pain is going to produce his purpose, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4) Making you perfect in every good work to do his will. (Hebrews 13:21)

So I came by to tell you today, don’t give up. Don’t lose heart. There is a purpose for your pain. You’re going through the process. A refining process. God is molding you, making you and shaping you. He’s cutting you and polishing you. He’s removing the impurities so that you can shine with His glory.

Don’t lose heart. Because you have this ministry. You have this treasure. This precious jewel in this jar of clay, this flesh. So that no one can get the glory but God. Though you may feel like you are pressed on every side, don’t throw in the towel. Know that you are in the Refiner’s masterful hands, and He knows just how much heat you can stand, just how much pressure you can bear, how long it will take to form you and remove the impurities so that you can reflect His brilliance.

To become a precious jewel you have to go through formation and then refinement.

Next week: Formation

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