Bulletin Articles

Bulletin Articles

Our Father, the Smelter

In his first epistle, the apostle Peter compares the refining of our faith by trials and suffering to the refining of gold. The gold we see that is super yellow and shiny on jewelry and watches, doesn’t start out that way. The same can be said about the strong faith we see in some of our brothers and sisters…it didn’t start out that way.

When gold, silver and other precious metals are mined from the earth, they are found combined and attached to other minerals, stones & other impurities. We can chip away at the other non-gold particles, but for every chunk and chip we take away, some of the gold goes with it. The only way to retain all of the gold and also remove the impurities is to smelt it. That’s a funny word…smelt. It’s the process of heating the gold up so much that it melts, and as it gets hotter and hotter, the other minerals and impurities burn away, leaving behind only the gold. The gold is made pure by burning away the impurities. 

Isn’t that similar to our faith? It begins with many impurities of this world, and thru many difficult times and moments of intense struggle—the heat--our faith in God is made more pure, as He continues to display His faithfulness to us. Our confidence in Him and our desire to do His will becomes more sure after we face challenges.

There is, however, a small window of success when refining gold. If you pull the gold out of the heat too early, then it is still impure. If you leave it in the fire too long, the gold can be damaged. The same can be said if our faith only faces easy challenges or ones too intense for us. So, when does a smelter know the right moment to remove the gold from the heat?

A good smelter watches intently as the gold heats up. After some time, it begins melting, and it turns all sorts of colors. That’s the other minerals and dirt burning away. In the brief window between those colors fading and the gold being damaged is the moment the surface of the gold becomes like that of a mirror. The instant the smelter sees their reflection on the surface of the gold is the moment they remove it from the fire. And such is the moment the Great Smelter removes us from fires of this life…the moment He sees the world burned away and His image appear.