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Devotional - week of August 19, 2018

TESTED AND REFINED

 

For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.  Psalm 66:10

 

Both testing and refining are part of the same process. In Old Testament days silver was tested and refined with heat. The silver was left over the fire until the impurities were observable and then removed.

 

God put the Psalmist through the fires so that he could be purified. The fires are described in Psalm 66:11-12a with the words:

 

You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water.

 

Isaiah speaks of the children of God passing “through the rivers” and walking “through the fire” (Isaiah 43:2).

 

God may have in mind several things when He takes us through the fires. At times God may have in mind the repentance of sin. However, when God permits us to suffer, He always has in mind the increase of our faith.

 

The Psalmist ends verse 12 with, “But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.” The NIV says, “You brought us to a place of abundance.” Both “fulfillment” and “abundance” indicate a life of purity and faith.

 

When we live out our lives through faith in God, we live by grace. This is how the fires result in the believer’s rich fulfillment and abundance.