Read: Mark 9:30-50
“For everyone will be tested with fire” (Mark 9:49 NLT).
Fire destroys. One day my siblings and I burned the buildings on the farm where I grew up. Within a few hours, every building was destroyed and there was nothing left.
But, fire also purifies. Most people who are married wear a gold ring on their finger. Gold contains impurities such as zinc, copper, silver and iron. Gold is refined to remove the impurities. Crude gold is melted by heating it with fire and then treated with chloride to remove the impurities and the result is 99.5% pure gold.
Jesus says everyone will be tested with fire. The intent is not to destroy, but to purify. Every day we are exposed to things that can cause impurities (sin) in our soul. Lucifer (Satan) tempts us each day in so many ways. As we watch television, we are exposed to violence, hate, lust, envy, selfishness, etc. Lucifer tempts our thoughts, tempts us at work and outside of work. Lucifer does not want us to have a relationship with God and works on us every day to take our focus away from God.
Our refining process is done through prayer. By turning to God, we are turning away from the temptations of the day. Each day we must ask God to remove the impurities in our soul. We ask for strength to face and resist the temptations we will be exposed to tomorrow.
As Christians, our only hope to survive being tested by fire is found in our Savior. Jesus knew we were going to be tested and that we would sin. He took every one of our sins to the cross and, through His death and resurrection, our sins are forgiven.