I recently saw a video of someone who melted down some spare gold pieces in order to purify them. The video was essentially 9 minutes of a blow torch applying direct heat to gold in a crucible. EXCITING STUFF!! Yet, the point was clear. In order to get the impurities out, direct heat had to be applied for a long period of time. In the following text, this is what God says He will do to His people.
And I will put [them] into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9
The verse above describes the process of God refining His people. God will put His people into the fire for the purpose of refining them & testing them. Gold is tested or refined by putting it into a crucible and is then heated to a temperature of ~2,900 Fahrenheit. It becomes liquid in form, and the impurities rise to the top to be skimmed off.
In this fire that is unbelievably hot, seemingly torturous, His people remain ALIVE. God controls the heat; He controls the environment. He is in control of the whole situation, and He keeps His people alive in this amazingly unbearable environment because HE IS THEIR GOD!
In this infernal cup, as HE APPLIES THE HEAT, His people call upon Him. They actually “cry out” or “utter loudly.” In the story of Job, in his suffering Job did not so much want his stuff back as he wanted GOD back. He didn’t know where God was & so he screamed for his heavenly Father.
In His control, not only does God hear, He also promises to answer them. God, the one who is in control of this entire situation, will answer His people. He probably won’t answer at the first sign of their blistering as He is burning away what does not belong (impatience, pride, self-seeking, insubordination, etc.). Yet, He will answer them.
He will say, “They are My people.” God will defend His people. He will speak to THEM, and He will probably speak to anyone around them to let them know—“these people that you have seen suffering immeasurably—they are MINE!!”
God’s people, (instead of forsaking God), will then say “the LORD is my GOD.” The Sovereign One—He is my God. This stuff of the world, they are not my gods. There is only ONE GOD, and it is the Sovereign LORD!!
God, will make Himself front & center in our lives through suffering so that after we come out of this crucible, we will come forth radiating MORE of the glory of our Master than we did BEFORE He put us into the fire.
Praying that this might bring some clarity and comfort in your trials…