Prov 17:3 “The crucible is for refining silver and the furnace is for gold, likewise the Lord tests hearts.” Isaiah 48:10 “ Look, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have purified you in the furnace of misery”
We have all been there and we do not like it one bit and, in fact, we probably have had a few choice words for the God we serve as to “why me? Or why now? Or what is this all about God?” So when we read verses like these we have to stop and answer those questions.
These are the “ouch” verses and we really find them uncomfortable when we try to understand the love part with the affliction/misery part. We just want the “God loves me” and the fluffy part, not the refining part, but God has a higher purpose. God is saying I am refining you just as a metalworker would do to remove the dross. The refiner is an assayer, one who is able to determine not only the quantity but the quality of the product and only God has the inner view of our heart. (Jer 17:9) He knows our secret sins, what fears we harbor, what attractions the enemy has placed before us, where we might be prideful, where our love is impure. And so like a refiner of gold God steps up the fire.
If you can face the fire your faith will be stronger, your grace measure in abundance, and your obedience pure. If you pass the test you will come forth just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, with no smoke upon you. You want to be able to say like Job “if he tested me, I would come forth as gold.” So be ye thankful, Beloved, that God has considered you worthy to step into the fire. You want to shine like a diamond reflecting Christ and His image. So, Beloved, thank God for your refining school of hard knocks.