The Bible uses the analogy of a refiner’s fire to depict the need for purifying our faith. The fact that our faith needs to be refined tells us that there is something in it that needs to be purged and purified. Tests, trials, and persecutions are the fire God uses to bring about this purification.
We can quickly identify where our faith is less than pure by the way we react to any given difficulty. When our faith is not pure, we will feel emotions that match the lies of unbelief.
If our faith is not refined, we will become overly emotional, worried, anxious, doubtful, overwhelmed, and powerless. When we are shocked by a bad report or a sudden tragic event, we can initially be shaken with negative thoughts and feelings. However, suppose those negative thoughts and emotions remain and cause torment. In that case, it indicates a deeper problem: a lack of trust in God that comes from a lack of commitment to the written word.
Negative thoughts and emotions are something we wage spiritual warfare against, taking them captive to the obedience of Christ. This is a necessary part of the refinement process of faith. To be strong in this arena requires daily intake of, exposure to, and relationship with the written word of God. The sword of the Spirit is equally as essential for defense as the offense.
The shield of faith is only as strong as the sword of the Spirit is established in our hearts.
God has designed us to feel joy, peace, and confidence when our faith is pure. Refined faith will find a way to glory in tribulations.
Romans 5:3 (NKJV) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
Refined faith will count it all joy when facing various trials.
James 1:2 (NKJV) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
Mature faith won’t find it strange when the fiery trials of life come upon us. We will rejoice that we are worthy of partaking in Christ’s sufferings. We will understand that the blessing and glory of God rest on us and there is greater potential for rewards.
Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto
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