9 This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,'and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' "
Malachi 3:2-4 (New International Version)
2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.
1 Peter 1:6-9 (New International Version)
6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Life has its difficulties, hardships and challenges, and many a new Christian has fallen back into their old way of living because of life's disappointments and problems. It is far easier to cover and minimize the problems by embracing the world, but in the long run God draws back to right living those he loves.
The process that we go through as Christians is likened to a silver or gold smith, refining the precious metal, by burning off the impurities in the fire. So too we are brought through the fire of difficulties, hardships and challenges, to help to us get rid of anything that hinders our relationship with God. Through all of it though, God makes His presence known by bringing us comfort through the Holy Spirit.
If you Christian are in the midst of the refining fire, hold on to Jesus and the promises of God. Strengthen your faith through prayer, the fellowship of other believers, and worshiping the Savior of your soul. Remember too that as you journey through, God will bring you to a place of joy. All you need to do is hold on to your faith.