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The Weekly Word: Refinement!

By Coulter Page, Pastor, Bethany Alliance Church, Charles City

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

— Isaiah 48:10 (ESV)

We are two weeks into 2022. How is it going so far? Better than 2021?

The Weekly Word: Refinement!
Pastor Coulter Page, Bethany Alliance Church

My wife and I have, at times, said that 2021 was actually more difficult then 2020. Maybe we are odd? Let’s be honest, we are odd, but do you feel the same?

As 2021 came to a close, I began to reflect and the word “refined” really began to stand out to me.

What does it mean to be refined? Webster’s dictionary says it is “to free from impurities or unwanted material.” To refine something is to get rid of all that is not needed and to make it better. You heat something up to be able to remove the parts that are undesired and that make the product less than it should be.

When I look back at 2021, I personally believe it was a refining year. It was a year that the Lord allowed me to walk through some hard moments, as Isaiah says, “afflictions.” (Isaiah 48:10).

As I look at those things, I have a choice. I can let those completely melt me away and just destroy me. I can turn my back on the Lord and say, “It is not worth it. He is not worth it.” Or, I can look at those moments and the things I walked through and see them as refining moments.

I can see those as opportunities God was using to get rid of the impurities and unwanted materials in my own life. I can say, “Lord, use these things to make me reflect Christ more.”

Guess what? I have a feeling that 2022 may hold some more tough moments for many of us. I am an eternal optimist, but the reality is, the next year will possibly bring some new afflictions. 2022 will carry with it some new refining moments.

Heading into 2022, I choose to look back at a very tough 2021 and praise God for refining me. I choose to look ahead to 2022 and any afflictions that come to be opportunities to learn more about Christ and myself. I choose to allow the afflictions I have walked through and the ones I have yet to walk through, to, hopefully, allow me to reflect Christ just a little more. What will you choose?

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

(Isaiah 48:10 ESV)

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Lord, thank you for the fire of refinement. I don’t love walking through afflictions, but I do love knowing you are refining me. Help me to see the things that I have walked through as moments of you getting rid of impurities and unwanted material in my life. Help me to realize in the days ahead, when afflictions come, that you are wanting to help me reflect Christ more. Help me to rejoice in refinement. Amen.

• • •

We were never meant to walk through afflictions alone. At Bethany Alliance Church we are striving to carry one another’s burdens and trying to encourage one another in the Lord. If you would like a family like this, we would love to have you join us. Worship Gatherings are Sunday at 10:02 a.m. at 1100 Clinton Street. Have questions? Contact us by email at, by phone at 641-228-1318, or by messenger @BethanyAlliance.

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