The Refiner’s Fire and the Role of the Facilitator
Joy of Expectation
If you are a ministry facilitator, you have a larger role than just helping people identify the lies they believe. You should also help them discover what God is doing in and through their life difficulties: refining their faith, renewing their minds, and transforming their lives.
Whether we realize it or not, all true believers are in God’s faith-refining program. If we belong to Him, then this is what He is doing. It is not a question of whether you will go through the refiner’s fire, for you will. It is only a question of whether you will choose to cooperate with God in His work and benefit from it or will resist what He is seeking to do.
To the degree we understand the process and genuinely believe it is good, we will be able to face each fire with joyful expectation. However, if we do not understand and embrace the value in this suffering, we will probably look for ways to avoid it and even resent it.
Too often people view their pain as a problem to be fixed and their life crisis or trouble something to endure and just get through. There is a painful difficulty that comes with each life difficulty, however, the pain is not coming from the fire itself but from within ourselves. Emotional pain is a symptom of an impure faith. The fire is merely exposing what we believe. The crisis is the fire that is designed to purify it. Our lie-based beliefs are the cause of our painful emotions and not the troubles we encounter.
People typically come for prayer ministry under a wrong notion. Many misunderstand TPM to be a process for alleviating emotional pain. People feel bad and want the bad to go away. When this is the case they will typically only come for prayer ministry when their pain becomes unmanageable and more than they can bear.
God is not interested in pain management, but rather in mind renewal that produces eternal transformation. His focus is on the lie-based belief that is causing us our pain, and He is patiently waiting for us to move in His direction so He may replace the lies with His truth. In the meantime, those who are successful in keeping their pain suppressed and manage it well, will continue to live their lives unaware of the lies they believe and will probably never look in the direction of TPM.
For for those who have discovered the benefit of the Refiner’s fire, they can have their faith refined, their minds renewed and their lives transformed. James the Apostle tries to encourage us when he says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith (refinement) produces endurance” (James 1:2-3). It is through the testing that our faith is made pure. Peter supports this principle when he writes, “…so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:7).