We normally don't think of fire as a blessing.
Yet, fire can be used as a tool.
Every time you heat silver it gets a little more pure. Just a tiny bit of heat makes the silver turn black -- does nothing good for it. And too much heat will ruin the silver. God knows how to apply just enough heat to us to refine us.
Matthew 3:11-12:“As for me, I baptize you [a]with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you [b]with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Weeds need to be thrown into the fire and burned up -- in real life and in us.
A holy fire. God mentions fire in the Bible 368 times.
God spoke to Moses in a burning bush.
A column of fire led the Israelites at night.
Fire consumes but is also refines.
Acts 2:1-3: When the day of Pentecost [a]had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire [b]distributing themselves, and [c]they [d]rested on each one of them.
Refining in us continues every day. More and more getting rid of the old and becoming the new. God knows we can't fix ourselves by ourselves. We need Him to do lasting changes.
God refines for a purpose.
1 Peter 1:6-7: In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various [a]trials, 7 so that the [b]proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which [c]is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
Rejoice in the process.
Correction, discipline, Don't we discipline them out of love? God does the same thing.
God has to relight our fire sometimes. He's got to kick the coals, restart the flame if He must. We do best when we work with HIm.
"It hurts me more than it hurts you."
Jesus sees the pure silver in the raw material in us. He knows the good that's in there.
It's work to get something shaped out of what you see. It's work to hammer and shape. God is with us all the time. it's a whole lot easier if you work with Him.
Hebrews 12:29, "our God is a consuming fire."
All to develop a deeper relationship with God. We want our children to move in the right direction. God wants the same for us.
It's pure when the craftsman can see his reflection in the precious metal. God wants to see His reflection in us.