In the whole land – this is the Lord’s declaration – two-thirds will be cut off and die, but a third will be left in it. I will put this third through the fire; I will refine them as silver is refined and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say: They are My people, and they will say: Yahweh is our God. Zechariah 13:8-9 HCSB
Gold and silver naturally contain impurities such as zinc, copper, and iron. To remove the impurities the gold or silver must be heated to the point that it melts. The pure gold or silver can then be extracted from the impurities and can then be molded and shaped into whatever is needed.
Zechariah used this as a metaphor because the people would understand the process of refining gold and silver to make something. At times God allows us to go through the fires of life to help refine us and shape us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was also tested and tempted. The example of His dedication by not falling into temptation and remaining sinless reveals how the act of refining is essential in order to purge the impurities from our lives and make us more like Him.
Challenge: God can use the trials and troubles of our lives to build our character and teach us to embrace the fires that we face as a way for our lives to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. As you face difficulties, ask God to use them to teach you and make you more like His Son, Jesus.