God allows us to go through trials so He can refine us. Refinement allows us to handle greater responsibility with a greater Godly character. In the book of Genesis, the story of Joseph is a great example of this. God called Joseph to rule and Joseph made the mistake of telling his family about it. As a result, anger and jealousy consumed his brothers and they tried to eliminate him by selling him into slavery. If you stop reading his story there, you may walk away thinking it has a terrible ending. But the truth is, God used the circumstances in Josephs life, including false imprisonment, to develop his Godly character. When Joseph eventually rose to a powerful position over an entire country, God could trust him with it.
In gold refinement, impure gold is melted and the impurities float to the top. Refiners skim the impurities off the surface until the gold is as close to pure as possible. God does the same for us. He opens our eyes to the impurities in our life and calls us to something higher. We can choose to stay where we are and miss His blessing, or we can let Him refine us and move up in our relationship with him.
I was reading some of my old journals last week and was reminded of one of my refining moments. Several years ago, as God was placing the beginnings of a ministry in my heart, He brought to my attention that I had envy within my heart and that it was interfering with my relationship with Him. Initially, I respond with "No way, Im not envious", because you had no idea it was there. I hadn't named or identified that thing that had been influencing my attitude. But God, in His loving nature, revealed it to me without judgement and with a path that I could immediately choose and unload the envy.
At the time, I was ready to be more aligned with God, so I said, "yes" to His refining. It was a bit painful, because it required a lot of self reflection, something that the world does not really celebrate. I had to want Him more than I wanted to world to see through to the end of the entire process. It was like a switch was flipped and suddenly my heart saw the world entirely differently. When I truly laid my sin down at His feet, He took it and replaced it with a love that I had no idea existed.
Refining of gold, and our hearts, is hard work. It requires time, patience, attention, intentionality and willingness. Is God asking to talk with you about something in your life? Are you willing to let Him refine you and bring about change in your life? Start by saying, "yes" to Him and He will take it from there.