Like the refiner’s fire that melts away the dross and impurities of raw gold so that only pure gold remains, God wants to melt away all the things in your life that shouldn’t be there, leaving you with a pure heart. We are always trying to chip away the things that we don’t want in our lives and we just don’t get anywhere. What we need to do is start letting the Lord, with His power and His Spirit, melt away all those things that shouldn’t be there. It was through humiliation and discouragement that the apostle Peter finally understood the difference between willpower and God’s power. God was refining him, just like he refines every believer to be someone He can use. Each of us is a diamond in the rough and like Peter, after everything melted away – all the ego and pride – the rock, the rock remained that the whole church was built upon. The rock that was stronger than any other rock because it was built on Jesus Christ.
We see the results of this in Peter’s life. Acts 2:14 says, “Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd … Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day – about 3,000 in all.” What a transformation. Here’s a guy who was previously afraid of a little girl’s question. Now he’s standing before thousands saying, “Not only am I a friend of Jesus, but Jesus Christ is alive, and He’s the Lord of all.” It was one of the most powerful transformations in all of history. Toward the end of his life, Peter describes the results of God’s refining process in 1 Peter 1:7 where he said, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.” The refiner’s finer is God’s way of making us holy and useful for his service.