I am putting a message together for my youth group this week and it is about refining us like silver.
I just started with one verse and decided to look up the definitions and God is literally blowing my mind.
The verse is Isaiah 66:10 For you God, tested us; You refined us like silver.
You can take this one small short verse and find so much information by looking up definitions. Lets take tested for example. When you think about tested what comes to mind? No looking, just think of you own definition first…
Okay, I thought of a test in school. They give you a test to see what you have learned or to see where you are in a subject. Well, the definition brings it to life even more.
take measures to check the quality, performance, or reliability of (something), especially before putting it into widespread use or practice.
reveal the strengths or capabilities of (someone or something) by putting them under strain.
Wow, this shows being sanctified. Being set apart from the world or the norm. You see our sole purpose here on earth is to glorify God in all we do. Your work, raising your children and taking care of yourself and your home all qualify. The way you think of others and the words you speak are a huge part because it shows where your heart is, it shows the kind of person you are. But the norm is to be judgmental, fight back, curse and drink or drug to stuff you problems deep down inside. But God’s ways are the complete opposite way. However, we can’t accomplish the opposite without the Holy Spirit inside of us, changing us. And we can’t receive the Holy Spirit without accepting Jesus Christ as our connection through His sacrifice.
God wants to change us to be more like Him so He can use us in ways that we never thought possible. This takes us back to the first definition. He tests us to see where we are, our quality, our performance, our reliability (faith). He does this so He can use us to bring Christ to others, so they can also partake in this mind blowing kind of life, the free life. Free of bitterness, anger and our own harmful ways of coping. So He tests us and gives us opportunities to do things that bring peace, purpose and joy to not only ourselves but to others, a little at a time and more each time as we grow.
This takes us into the second definition. As He tests us and changes us to do His work, He reveals our strengths and capabilities. I call these hidden jewels. Whenever He changes me it hurts a bit, but not the kind of hurt we put ourselves through. His kind of hurt doesn’t linger and destroy our lives, it comes and goes quickly bringing healing and then those jewels rise.
Some of my jewels have been… Confidence, Joy, Peace, Loving others even when they are unlovable, being patient and listening, keeping my mouth shut until it’s time and enjoying public speaking (crazy I know). I recently found out I am actually a very talkative person, I am not shy like I thought, that was just all the shame I carried that made me think I had nothing worth saying. And the list goes on.
The strain in the definition is not a painful thing like your imagining either. He gives us bigger more purposeful opportunities as time goes on, but He has to mold us or train us with things that come our way in life. It’s like working out, you won’t get the muscles you want if you don’t keep adding to the weight that your lifting.
So to conclude this long blog… The enemy is also after us, he doesn’t want us stronger and making an impact in our lives or the lives of others. So next time you have a choice to make, really think it out and if it seems at all like it could harm you or your life, choose the opposite direction, even if it seems harder and you will see your jewels come.
So now I dare you to look up the other words in this verse. How about go one step further and check out how silver is refined (look up refined too). Peace