He Refines Us

Gold is refined in a hot fire.  Oil refineries are not pretty.  This is the refining process of a believer.  None of us are perfect, we all need refinement.  This isn’t a classy party where the caviar and champagne are passed. A party of this sort is only an act.  God’s refining is not so pretty.  His refining process is often is gritty, hot, and dirty.
If we are to be like Jesus, we must be refined by our difficulties.  We can’t walk around in the fancy clothes sipping our champagne while we die inside.  Fear keeps us from bearing our burdens with one another.  Our desire to be liked or loved keeps us from spilling what ails us to fellow believers so we try to appear “normal.”  Whatever that is.   But when we’re not bearing one another’s burdens for fear of what others will think of us, we neglect one of the best gifts God has given us.  The gift of friendship with fellow believers, with fellow sojourners.
And that leads us to draw inward instead of drawing to Jesus.
STOP
When we are looking inward instead of toward Christ, we will end up pitying ourselves instead of finding peace.  Our life will be chaos.  We’ll be tossing to and fro looking for what God is waiting to supply.
The answer to life’s problems is not more self worth.  It’s more Jesus.  More other centered instead of self centered.
Paul realized his self worth was nothing when he stated that he was the chief of sinners.  He had a desire to be humble because he shared this with all of us.  No, he didn’t know that his words would be read 2000 years later, but the fact that he put them in any sort of print teaches us.  As we decrease He increases.  As we look to the Lord for our self worth, for our strength for our way in this life of craziness, we will find our worth in him.  We will rest easy knowing that he is our only hope.
Jesus came to rescue you from yourself, not to turn you into yourself. Looking inward to elevate your estimation of yourself will lead you to dizzying disappointment.  Rick Thomas
When we turn into ourselves, or act as if we’ve got our life together, we only find despair and disappointment.
Oh Lord Jesus help us look to you for our hope and strength when this world brings us down.  When disappointments come you are the answer to the ailments of today.   We have this blessed assurance as his children.
Today’s hymn is written by Johnson Oatman and was published in 1895

1 There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
No, not one!
No, not one!
None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,
No, not one!
No, not one!

Chorus:
Jesus knows all about our struggles;
He will guide till the day is done.
There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
No, not one!
No, not one!

2 No friend like Him is so high and holy,
No, not one!
No, not one!
And yet no friend is so meek and lowly,
No, not one!
No, not one![Chorus]

3 There’s not an hour that He is not near us,
No, not one!
No, not one!
No night so dark but His love can cheer us,
No, not one!
No, not one![Chorus]

4 Did ever saint find this friend forsake him?
No, not one!
No, not one!
Or sinner find that He would not take him?
No, not one!
No, not one![Chorus]

5 Was ever a gift like the Savior given?
No, not one!
No, not one!
Will He refuse us a home in heaven?
No, not one!
No, not one![Chorus]

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