The silversmith and the goldsmith start their work with impure silver and gold ore. Through the refining process they extract and mold the pure gold and silver by removing all of the impurities in the ore. This process involves fire and the close attention of the smith. The smith puts the ore in the fire to burn out some of the impurities, then takes it out and shapes it, then back in the fire. All the while he keeps a close eye on his precious metal.
The goal of the silversmith or goldsmith is to fashion a precious metal until it is pure and shines bright. He heats and works with his metal until he can see his reflection in it. One can only imagine how the silver or gold feels about this arduous process. (I know, silver and gold can’t feel, but just bear with me on this one.)
Psalm 66:10 says, “For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” Just as the silversmith refines his precious metal in the fire, God refines his precious children in the adversities of life. He does this for the same purpose as the smith puts his ore in the fire – to remove any impurities and so that we will shine brightly and reflect His image. While we are in the “fire” He never takes His eyes off us, but keeps a close watch to determine when we’ve had all we can take for now. Better than the smith with his metal, God is with us in the fire as we are being refined.
God has said, “I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.'” Zechariah 13:9.
Are you in the fire today? If so, do you have a better idea now how the gold and silver might feel about the refining process? It can often seem unfair and hopeless. But don’t forget that God is keeping His eye on you and using this time to make you more like Jesus so that He may see His reflection in you. Keep your focus on the goldsmith and not on the fire, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6.