This third I will bring into the fire; 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
I read a verse like this and ask the Lord, “Why do the ones that you choose and love need to be refined and tested?” In some strange way, I look at love so much differently.
It is not natural in the flesh to look at my children and think that I willingly plan to discipline them. I often succumb to discipline when their actions are not socially acceptable, and it embarrasses me. I really want to believe that they don't need me to discipline them and that they'll grow out of their stage. I want to believe that I can show love by having the self control to not discipline them and patiently wait for them to grow up. This is what my flesh wants to believe, that this is absolutely wrong because God is perfect love and He does not think that way. So, I need to align myself up with Him: both as a parent and as a child of God.
God says in this verse that He brings His own people into the fire. It is in the fire that we are refined like silver and tested like gold. If He is comparing us to precious metals, then we have to assume that the fire is pretty hot! The Lord does this for our good. He wants us to call on His name and know that He will answer because we are His people. His people have to be trained, disciplined, tested and refined to think His thoughts and to live in His ways. Because our flesh is so strong, we resist His work and end up turning from the Lord or blaming Him. We accuse Him of not being loving or caring. We wonder why He isn’t answering our prayers or rescuing us from those hot circumstances, without realizing that He is the One who has placed us there.
God loves you. He is all powerful and can absolutely rescue you but He cares more about you than you can care about yourself. He needs you to change to be more like Him. Unfortunately that takes time in the fire. Trust Him because this is only for a season. For when you are trained, you will produce a harvest of righteousness and a deep peace knowing that He is your God.
~Daily Disciples Devotional~