After reading and studying Zechariah 13, take a look at the Keep on Digging section in the Student Personal Study Guide and Student Leader Guide.
- Consider different types of fires (forest fires; house fires; electrical fires; natural gas fires; grease fires; chimney fires) and then focus in on a refiner’s fire and how it is unique.
- Read this blog post from Hope for the Heart on the Refiner’s fire. Zechariah 13:9 relates Christ’s refining process in believers’ lives to how silver and precious metals are refined by the fire.
- Share a trial you’ve faced in your life that God used to refine and shape you to be more like Him. Then, encourage students who are walking through struggles and trials in life to stay strong and draw ever closer to Christ during these hardships. The central truth for this session is “God will refine His people and they will call on His name.”
As we noted in Keep on Digging, a refiner’s fire leaves the metal intact and is a process that purifies it to make it better, whereas forest fires are destructive and typically consume vast areas of trees and forests. You may not be currently facing a trial, but at some point you will. Pray that God will refine you and confess any sin that is present in your life. Ask God to purify you and make you more like Him!
Andrew Fuqua says
Thanks for the post, for ETB and these helps.
I should point out, however, that forest fires
are helpful. It’s “wild fires” that are harmful. In the southeastern U.S., we use fire for great benefit to wildlife as well as to the trees. We call this controlled burn or prescribed fire.
We use fire to clean the forest floor of dangerous combustible litter that tends to build up. These fires prevent the damaging wild fires.
Jennifer Siao says
You’re welcome! Thanks for the clarification on the terminology. Also, please let us know if there’s any way we can be of help in regard to Explore the Bible.
Great article, Jennifer. The refining process we all go through as believers is important, while also very important to now take it for granted. We go through this for our good, not to bring us harm. Often we forget that and see God with a whip more than a guiding hand through life’s “situations.” If we choose to see things more as an opportunity to grow more than anything, then we will be much better off in the long run.
June Hunt’s materials are a blessing. I love a lot of the free downloads they have on their website. The free download the have on Trials is a good one too and has brought much help – http://www.hopefortheheart.org/trials/. On a similar note, the one of making the decision God wants us to make in Decision Making: Discerning the will of God, is great too: http://www.hopefortheheart.org/decision-making/.
Thanks again for sharing Jennifer!
Jennifer Siao says
Thank you for your feedback and for sharing these other helpful resources!