…the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold… 1 Peter 1:7

I do not know about you, but I would like to be finished with faith’s jaw crusher, sin. I want to move on from the elemental things of my refinement and watch Him deal with me in other ways.

However, I have discovered that there is actually a second round of crushing that He ordains in our refinement process. Called a stand-cone crusher in the gold-mining process, our secondary spiritual crushing usually comes in the form of the antagonist.

For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead. Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart is appalled within me. (Psalm 143:3-4)

The antagonist always seems to show up just when you feel that you are getting a grip on your life. The antagonist can surely rub you the wrong way, whether appearing in the form of a national with whom you are working or in the form of a fellow M.

Although not present at all times in your life, these individuals are those who seem to squeeze the very life out of you. They overpower and devastate—sometimes in secret and sometimes quite overtly.

I have to admit that my “enemy” has at times been another Christian who just seems to bring out the worst in me. My thoughts and actions go south every time they are around—which may be every single day!

Have you begged God to take this person out of your life? I have. However, as soon as we are able to get away from that particular irritation, He seems to bring about another just as annoying.

Could it be that we ourselves are the common denominator in these situations?

Indeed, our Master Miner puts us through the “jaws” of our fellow man to purify us in this stage. So what then is our response?

Remember: The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

Rest: Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of…the man who carries out wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7)

Retreat: You hide them in the secret place of Your Presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. (Psalm 31:20)

Are you enduring a secondary crushing today in the form of a co-worker or neighbor? I understand. In fact, you are with a host of witnesses on this one.

Remember, Rest, and Retreat. Which will you do today?


…the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold… 1 Peter 1:7

Unfortunately, although we may have felt crushed at times, stopping here will not leave us with a pure faith. Because faith is the victory that overcomes, I want to go forward through the process (1 John 5:4). Let’s move together past these initial trials to watch our faith really shine.

Like the gold of which our faith is modeled, the next step is the classifier.

Simply put, the classifier is the meshed screen used in panning for gold. Large-scale processors use a metal spinning cone. Either way, the crushed rock goes in, and the bulk of the rock is divided out.

Whether through spinning or just screening, the crushed particles are filtered to further separate the gold from the rest of the rock.

Separation is a given part of the Christian experience.

But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself. (Psalm 4:3)

As overseas workers, you are familiar with this idea. It is not simply that you are the wrong nationality or color; even when you do understand, the style of humor just is not funny, and the conversation feels too shallow.

Let’s face it. You are different.

What is the reason why? The Master Miner is sifting you on His classifying screen.

Let the gravel of your life fall through. He brought you overseas—not only for the gospel, but also for personal refinement. Yes, those nuggets of value are definitely within you. He just needs to separate them out.

As you are bounced in the strainer, know that your goal is endurance (Hebrews 10:36). Sometimes the best you can do is to just get through it. “Only through endurance can you procure the promises.” (Hungry For More: Feasting through the Word, p.81.)

Part of your faith-refinement is patient steadfastness. Remember all those times that you prayed to be like Christ? Well, He is granting your prayer (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

Are you experiencing a sifting right now? How is it going? What has helped you press on through?


…the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold… 1 Peter 1:7

Let’s look at the next step in this gold-extraction process. The gold ore has been crushed at least twice and has even been sent through a sifting process. Now, the remainder of ground rock is mixed with liquid and a frothing agent.

An oily ingredient is then added into all those bubbles. Gold particles will be attracted to this slimy substance. Since oil floats, it suspends the gold particles over the froth, conveniently on top of the foamy scum. When an organic chemical like active carbon is added, it bonds the gold particles to the air bubbles. Aerate it further, and you can literally skim the gold off the top of the bath.

Okay, so what does that have to do with us? Actually, a lot.

This is just another step in the whole separation process of our faith. Have you ever felt

  • in over your head?
  • with emotions spinning?
  • where no one seems to understand?
  • barely surviving?
  • and then, as if God has allowed a harsh, chemical-type situation to be introduced into the mix?


This too is all part of His plan. Only in this way can He extract the worthless from the beautiful.

Are you suffering without feeling that you “deserve” it? You may be in the “frothing” stage of refinement.

Therefore, let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls (our minds and emotions) to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. (1 Peter 4:19)

Your response, then, is to entrust your soul to Him. Literally, in the Greek, the word entrust (paratithemi) means to place one’s self down in front of another. We are to literally take our emotions and thoughts about the situation and hand them over to God.

Tell Him just what you think and feel about it. Then visualize handing it over. Granted, this is something that you will have to do again and again. Do not worry about that, for even Jesus had to repeatedly do the same (1 Peter 2:23).

Can you testify: “I have placed it into His hands”? You will be glad when you have.


©2014 Thrive.


Questions to consider:  Are you experiencing a sifting right now? How is it going? What has helped you press on through?