“Some of the wise shall fall, so that they may be refined, purified, and cleansed, until the time of the end, for there is still an interval until the time appointed.” – Daniel 11 v35From Toni Clark:
Do you ever wonder if you are getting it right as a Christian? Always thinking you’re not good enough, or comparing yourself with others who seem so much more “holy” than you? If you do, I don’t think you’re on your own! I know I do. I know I shouldn’t as being a Christian isn’t a competition! But it is easy to fall into the trap of not feeling good enough or wondering whether you’ll ever be as good a Christian as someone you admire.
Over the last week or so I’ve read a couple of things that have reminded me that we will never be perfect in this life. This verse from Daniel was in one of my Bible readings this week. I love how it reminds us that we are a work in progress, and that, if we let him, God will continue to refine and purify us, continue to cleanse us throughout our lives.
The other quote I came across was from John Newton, an Anglican priest who wrote the hymn, “Amazing Grace”. John Newton said, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.”
I love the recognition here that he is not what he once was, that he has been changed, refined by God’s grace. But he also sees that he is still not what he ought to be, nor what he wants to be, and that he is definitely a work in progress. We can learn from that too – we are also being refined. As Christians we can look back and see how we have been changed over the years. And we can look forward in hope to our eternal life in glory where we shall be made perfect, where we will no longer sin and get things wrong, but until that time we need to allow God to continue his work in us.
There are times when we may not feel up to scratch, or we may stumble in our faith and those are the times when God is teaching us, refining us to be a little more like him. We can learn from those times when perhaps we think we can do things in our own strength and then realise we can’t. Those times can be hard, and we can feel a bit battered by the experience. When that happens, we can turn back to God. By His grace we can be refined, purified and cleansed, and the wonderful thing is that this will continue until the end of time and for that we can give thanks and rejoice.