In & Through

2016 was characterized by God turning my world upside down and changing my plans.

God had taken my plans to be a teacher and called me to full-time ministry instead. He had removed the dreams I had for myself and deposited new, God-sized dreams in their place.

​Anticipation grew inside of me as 2017 approached. This is my year, I thought. I learned a lot in 2016 and was ready to see the fruit of my labor in the year ahead. I had been clinging to Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

I knew that God wanted to do great things this year, so I asked for a single word from Him to outline what 2017 would be. I had expectations of an encouraging word such as “fulfillment” or “fruitful.”

​A few weeks later, He gave me the word “refinement.” Since I’d been believing God for more than I could ever ask or imagine, this word wasn’t what I was expecting.

​In the final stage of gold production, the gold is heated, melted and the impurities form clusters, allowing them to be scraped off the top of the gold. This process is called refinement.

Refinement rarely feels good. It isn’t comfortable. And it can be messy.

But God is an intentional God. He loves us too much to promote us before we are ready. He takes us through the refinement process to rid us of the things that hinder us – the things that aren’t a reflection of Him. He purifies us so that in His timing, we will be able to steward the calling He has on our life.

David was anointed to become king at age 15, but it wasn’t until he was 30 when he began his reign. He had a great calling, but the Lord knew David needed 15 years of preparation before he could walk in his calling well.

God has more than we could ever ask, think or imagine that He wants to do in us and through us. But we must commit to the refinement process in us, to allow His power to flow through us.

Here are four things to remember when you find yourself in a season of refinement:

1. Commit to the process.

If you are in a season of refinement, it is a promise that it won’t always feel good. But know that being refined by our Maker is an honor – it is affirmation that He wants to use you for something big! Make the decision to commit to the refinement process, even when it gets tough. Romans 5:3-4 says that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

2. Walk in obedience.

During a season of refinement, it can be tempting to become discouraged and give up on the process. But obedience to His Word allows Him to entrust us with the next step. Once we are obedient to one thing He has asked of us, He can unveil the next.

3. Stay connected to Jesus.

Jesus said in John 15:5 that He is the vine and we are the branches. When we are not connected to Him, we can’t do anything. But by staying connected to Him daily through His Word and prayer, Jesus’s power flows through us and we are able to bear fruit.

4. Be dependent.

God cares more about our character than our comfort. He ultimately wants us to be in full desire of him. Zechariah 13:9 says “This third I will put 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.’”

When we cling to God in the process, we get closer to Him and in turn, begin to look more like Jesus.

Brooke Nicholson

Brooke is a 22-year- old Alabama native and self pronounced coffee connoisseur. She’s currently studying journalism at Auburn University. She enjoys slow mornings with Jesus, online window-shopping and good talks with friends – over a cup of coffee, of course.

Join the discussion

Mandy March 2, 2017 at 11:03am

The process of sanctification is so uncomfortable, and it seems that we always think we are ready to be presented much sooner than our Father does! Thank you Jesus for purifying our hearts to be obedient to your word and your will! Your plan is far greater than we can even dream up! Cheers to the process of refinement sistah!

Melanie February 27, 2017 at 3:40pm

Beautiful article and very timely. Thank you...

Susan Gruener February 27, 2017 at 9:05am

Brooke, this is full of wisdom and Godly truths that I will refer back to time and time again. I am so grateful for the Godly young women, such as yourself, that God is 'growing' in these latter days. You are not much older than my granddaughter, who is also becoming a Godly young woman, of which, I give the Lord constant praise! You are an inspiration to women of your generation as well as to older generations such as mine! God be praised!
Thanks for this today.
Bless you as you continue to bless others!

Krystle February 26, 2017 at 2:05am

Great article Brooke! It was not only encouraging, it also teaches refinement is not a punishment. It is ultimately a blessing. Thank you for sharing.

Candace Cotton February 26, 2017 at 12:46am

Wise beyond your years sister! What a beautiful and effective word you have shared here. When we commit ourselves to Christ, his amazing power sustains us until the moment we fully possess HIS strength. He is so faithful!

Chloe Somerfield February 24, 2017 at 8:05pm

such a great word in season! Lately I've been stuck in the scriptures about the Vine and the branched - the pruning and bearing fruit etc.. I said to God "I feel like I'm constantly being pruned!" Haha. But it's so true what you say, He loves us dearly and is making us more and more into his image and the refining process is a beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing. Xx :)

Cassandra February 24, 2017 at 8:28am

Brooke your words are very inspiring. I will share with others.