Isaiah 48:10 The Refining Process

Blacksmith fire

See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10 

Refining something is working to make something better. It is a process of getting out everything impure and worthless to increase the value of something. This can be a slow and tedious process, that is repeated over and over, again and again, until the refining is complete.

Most people do not have what it takes to completely refine something to near perfection. They get satisfied with a few impurities, because it is too much work to purify it any more. They give up too early in the process and accept imperfection as good enough.

In this passage God tells the Israelites that He had refined them. He put them through a furnace of affliction to make them better, to refine them.

Affliction is rarely seen as something good or worthwhile. It is often seen as trouble and worthless. God sees it of high value. The purpose of affliction or trouble is to refine a person.

The refining in people is making them more like Jesus. It is the process of drawing them closer to God, to lean on and focus upon God more and more.

When things start going bad and there is great affliction, most people start to complain and get angry with God. It is hot and painful, with a severe burning. They do not want to go through it. They see absolutely no good or purpose in it.

The one who truly believes in God and is following Him with all of his heart will turn to God during the affliction. This turning to God is not to complain or get angry, but to seek His will in the situation. It is to learn from God in becoming more like Jesus.

Just as God worked in the lives of the Israelites to refine them, God will work in your life to refine you. He wants only the best for you and in you. He expects only the best from you and will strive to get it.

There will be times when God will put you in the furnace to burn out imperfections and sin. These can be imperfections of actions, thoughts, desires or words. Anything that goes against God in any way is an imperfection or sin, including not obeying what He tells you to do.

As you go through the furnace, learn from God and allow Him to change you. Become the image of Jesus to this world.

I pray today that you will know the salvation of Jesus; that you will seek God’s will while in a furnace; that God will give you His peace during times of affliction; and that you will grow to be more like Jesus every day.

Isaiah 46:4 God Will Sustain You

Side view of old man

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 

Fear of being able to make it in the older age is very common among many people. Among the young people, there is very little thought given towards being elderly and survival during that time.

However, those in the forties to fifties begin to think about it more. They begin to worry about their retirement plan, where they will live, how they will take care of things, medical expenses, and more. The world has fear of being older, because they are trying to make it on their own.

Isaiah quotes God as saying He is the one who had formed Israel and will be the one to sustain them. God will carry them through it all and provide the needed salvation.

While people can be wise to prepare for their elder years, it is really God who provides what is needed. Just as fast as a retirement fund can be raised up, it can also crumble overnight to nothing. Man has very little control over the future events. He can only control himself, not outside forces.

In this way people must trust in God. Believers must trust God and follow His leading. God will lead one as to what to do with the money and materials they have, whether to invest or not. God can use a retirement fund to support a person, but He also has a billion other ways to support the person.

God is the one who really provides, not the job or retirement accounts. It is God who brings about salvation of the soul and the body, not self or others.

Each day as you are getting older, learn to put all of your trust and hope in God. Do not put your trust in self or the things and ways of this world. Everything in this world can and will fail at some point. God will never fail.

God is able to meet every need that you have in many different ways. Follow Him and His leading to know what is best for your life. What works for one person, may not work for you. God has His own plan for your life, follow it and you will be sustained when you are old and gray.

I pray today that you will know the salvation of Jesus; that you will see God’s hand of provision; that you will trust God’s provision for your life; and that you will know God’s will for your life. 

Isaiah 45:9 Quarreling With God

Broken pottery

Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’? Isaiah 45:9 

Leaders will often make some decisions that are not always loved by the followers. This is often done because they see the bigger picture. Sometimes it is also done out of ignorance. In either case, there are some who will begin to argue and quarrel with the leader, fighting the decision.

Arguing and quarreling with the leader is a favored thing for many people. They always see things differently and think the leader is wrong and they have to put the leader in his place. People want to prove themselves right, whether they are right or wrong.

Isaiah calls down woe upon anyone who quarrels with their Maker–God. He questions whether they have any right to say anything at all against God.

Just as many in the world quarrel with their leaders, there are many believers who quarrel with God. They get angry with God for the decisions He has made. The argue against reasons to do what He has asked them to do.

Anytime a believer begins to quarrel with God, he should take a step back and realize who he is. He is made by God and for God’s purpose, not for self alone. God is the one who created the believer and saved Him.

Just as a clay pot is made by the potter and has no say in what its form will be, neither does a believer have any say in what his purpose will be on this earth. God is the one in control. Isaiah calls the one who quarrels just a potsherd, which is a broken piece of pottery with no real value in itself.

There will be times that you will not understand why God is calling you to do or not do something. You have to trust God in what He is telling you. He sees the bigger picture. He is also the One who made you.

Do not allow yourself to quarrel with God, but accept His perfect and good will for your life. Allow Him to make you into the person He has created you to be–the image of Jesus Christ. God has only your best in mind when He makes you into what you are to be.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God is your Maker; that you will not quarrel with God; and that you will allow God to make you into the image of Jesus Christ.