“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” ( 1 Peter 1:3-7 MSG)
Refinement is not easy but it’s worth it. That and brokenness are what’s been resonating in my heart this Lenten season. But as K Camealy says, “refinement is not to be feared or resisted. We can walk willingly into the fires because He’s already been there, He goes there still. What we find in our lower places of repentance is a God who knows us with all of our ugly on the inside and yet He cups our faces in the filth and lifts us. He lifts us up as we set the weight of the baggage we carry down.”
I think Jesus drops the baggage at the foot of the cross his feet are nailed to. I can imagine then the baggage is dropped, and swallowed under the ground Jesus going with it. And after three days he leaves the ashes of that baggage under ground as He victoriously raises to defeating sin for us and give us new life with Him!
Lenten doesn’t end at the cross but instead an empty tomb! At the bottom of the furnace, Jesus sweeps away the ashes that fell off of us in the furnace we’ve been sent through. We have been purified and are new. A new life! A new beginning! And in this newness, or revival of faith, we can finally see that He has prepared us for glory – HIS glory!
I join Peter in saying, “What a God we have!” What a GREAT God we have! When we (gold) “comes out of the fire, we’re proved pure” having developed genuine faith. Faith that God has refined us with purpose – to bring us joy and glorify HIM.
I hope this little series here on my blog has been a moving one for you like it has been for me. To move our hearts as we’ve been in the process of refinement. I’m not sure when my personal refining season will ease up, and maybe if you’re in the heat of one too, you don’t know either. But as we surrender, and become more and more like the image of God, let’s hold tightly to the truth in the Word and promise that resurrection is almost here!
He is risen!