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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

As Silver Refined

According to Google, the definition of refinement is
  1. The process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance.
  2. The improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes.
Pertaining specifically to refining silver, had this information:
"When refining sterling silver, a standard process involves putting the sterling alloyed metals into a chemical bath. The chemicals cause a reaction whereby the silver nickel, copper, or other alloyed metals are separated from the silver. The silver then forms into crystals that are attracted to a metallic plate that is charged with ions. The other metals get left in the residue...Other types of silver refining involve dissolving sterling silver in nitric acid. The nitric acid produces toxic fumes. Once the sterling is dissolved in the nitric acid, the white silver powder that remains can then be heated with a torch or in a special kiln, or furnace. The heating of the white silver powder then refines the silver to purity, or fine silver."
So...removing impurities or unwanted elements, clarification, chemical bath, nitric acid, toxic fumes, heated with a torch; nothing about any of that sounds very pleasant.

Even the Bible also has something to say about refining silver in Malachi 3:3
"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."
What does that look like in my life and in your life spiritually speaking?

As Silver Refined:  Answers to Life's Disappointments written by Kay Arthur provides us with an invaluable resource that will help us answer that question.

At the age of 29, a divorced mother of two working as a nurse, Kay called in sick to the hospital where she was working because she was sick at heart, sick over the life of sin she had been living. She had a religion but did not possess a relationship with God. On the morning of July 16, 1963, she fell on her knees as a sinner and rose as pure and whole in the Lord’s sight. “For ‘Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD will be saved’” Romans 10:13, (NASB). “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB). She hungered and thirsted for the Word of truth and began studying the Bible. Her relationship with the Lord and scriptural findings turned her sorrows into joy and her mourning into laughter.
God’s love poured down upon her in 1965 when she married a missionary with the Pocket Testament League named Jack Arthur.  Kay’s and Jack’s deepest desire was to establish people in God’s Word. The ministry they founded in 1970 became Precept Ministries International where they served together as CO-CEOs until February 2012 when they stepped down and their son David assumed the role of CEO. Both Kay and Jack are still actively working at the Ministry.
As one of the principal Bible teachers at Precept Ministries, Kay speaks extensively domestically and internationally teaching the Word of God and the Inductive Bible Study Method.
Kay Arthur’s exciting, practical approach to the Scriptures has influenced thousands to use the Inductive Bible Study Method in their personal studies. Her distinguished Christian character, Bible teaching, championing of the Inductive Bible Study Method, and national radio and television programs motivate others to discover truth for themselves. Kay’s passion is for people to be established in God’s Word.
(Above information was taken from  You can find more information there about Kay, the inductive Bible study method, and Kay's other books and Bible studies. You can also connect with Kay via her Facebook page.)

I have completed several of Kay's Bible studies, read some of her books and have found her ministry to be a great blessing.  As Silver Refined may be one of her clearest and most helpful offerings.

I would dare to say that everyone on planet earth has wondered at some point about the purpose behind suffering, pain and disappointment.  Either they are blaming God and chalking Him up to be some distant "being" off somewhere who doesn't really care or they are on their knees crying out to Him and simply asking why?

So...what can we do when life doesn't turn out like we planned?

In As Silver Refined:  Answers to Life's Disappointments, Kay lovingly and boldly from God's Word helps us to gain an understanding of what God is after in our lives when He allows painful things to come our way.  In the book, Kay unpacks the following subjects:
  • When you feel you're a failure:  Resisting the spiral of defeat.
  • God's training in disguise:  Understanding disappointment.
  • Present failures, Past regrets:  Two dangerous disappointments.
  • Facing the stress:  God's provision in our pressure.
  • Transformed under His control:  The gift of meekness.
  • Strength in the face of stresses:  Meekness in action.
  • Facing the pain:  The safety of His Sovereignty
  • Peace amid the pain:  Profiles of trust in God's Sovereignty
  • A Truth to buy:  Deeper discoveries in God's Sovereignty
  • Strong and courageous:  Learning victory over discouragement
  • A Call to courage:  Learning endurance - in good company.
  • Where courage shows most:  Secrets of everyday endurance.
  • Turn to the joy of the Lord:  Learning victory over dejection.
  • A Message of Hope:  Learning victory over despair.
  • Always in triumph:  Out of the lowest pit.
Refinement is a process; it doesn't happen over night nor is it necessarily pleasant.  But oh beloved (Kay's term of endearment to those she's teaching) the joy of knowing our Savior more intimately, finding our satisfaction in Him alone, and being watched over by the greatest Refiner who never takes His eyes off of His vessel is worth well...more than all the silver in the world!

If you are looking for your next small group resource or Bible study, As Silver Refined would be perfect!  The book includes a 13-week companion study guide that will help you explore more fully from God's Word what it means to embrace life's difficulties as God's appointments to mold you into His image reflector.  The study guide is excellent providing a guide through the Scriptures, questions for study, memory work and prayer/journaling prompts; all designed to help you come forth
as silver refined.

*Thank you Waterbrook Multnomah for providing me a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review as part of the Blogging for Books program.