A man once visited the shop of a silversmith. He and the silversmith quickly hit it off, and soon he was showing him around and explaining his work. The silversmith held a piece of silver over the fire, explaining that the silver had to be held in the very middle of the fire to burn away any impurities. The man asked the silversmith if he had to be there the whole time during this process. He answered, yes, he had to keep his eye on the silver the whole time, otherwise the silver might be in the fire too long and be destroyed.
The man thought for a moment and then asked, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?” “Oh, that’s easy,” the silversmith answered, " I know it's ready when I can see my image in it.”
Just like the purifying and refining of silver, the purifying and refining of the Christian takes time and patience as well. It continues on until the Refiner finally achieves the goal of seeing His own image upon His creation.
"God sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.” - Malachi 3
“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ.” - Philippians 1
"On that day, fully refined, we will see Him face to face." - 1 Corinthians 13