Remove the dross from the silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith. – Proverbs 25:4


Silver must be purified seven times before it is perfectly pure. Dross and impurities lie hidden within the silver, and only heat can drive them out.

God knows that our imperfections, too, can only be removed by heat. Paul prayed that none of the Thessalonians would be unsettled by such trials. He told them, “But, of course, you know that such troubles are going to happen to us Christians” (1 Thessalonians 3:3).

Satan, our eternal enemy, seeks to stop us (1 Thessalonians 2:18) and tempt us (3:5) in an effort to steal our faith. But our faith is like the silver being refined. It is that precious thing that keeps us close to God during a trial and keeps us moving forward when Satan is trying to drive us backward.

Timothy’s return and good report led Paul to say, “We have been greatly comforted, dear brothers and sisters, in all of our own crushing troubles and suffering, because you have remained strong in your faith” (1 Thessalonians 3:7). Every trial you encounter and walk through successfully only purifies your faith and refines it to a higher quality.

Stay in the fire, Christian. God knows that one day you will be “strong, blameless and holy when you stand before God our Father on that day when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to him” (v. 13).


Remove the dross from the silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith. – Proverbs 25:4




. . . If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? – Jeremiah 12:5

Can you race on foot against horsemen? Jeremiah asks a pointed question about our level of commitment. The obvious implication is that if we grow tired and give up when dealing with relatively inconsequential problems, we will never be able to handle major problems. If we have problems dealing with grocery money, how will we be able to manage Kingdom finances? If we cannot keep our own house in order, how will we rule nations?

Sometimes we twenty-first-century Christians feel as though we have it rough. The early Church, however, had it much rougher. They were indeed running with the horsemen! Paul commended the Thessalonians’ faith and perseverance, saying, “You received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

The presence of greater challenges in our lives doesn’t mean that God has left us, but it does mean He trusts our ability to run with the horses. With the help of God, you can outrun any challenge in your life, as Elijah did when he outran Ahab’s horses all the way to Jezreel (1 Kings 18:46).

Get ready for a new level of commitment. The foot race is over— the horses are coming!

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