One of the questions often asked of Christians (and by Christians) is this: “If God is so good, then why do bad things happen?” Kay Arthur tackles that very big question (among others) in her book As Silver Refined: Learning to Embrace Life’s Disappointments.
This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains associate links; if you click on the picture or title and buy the book from Amazon, I will earn a few cents.
Kay Arthur opens As Silver Refined with a beautiful description of a refiner smelting silver from ore. First, he crushes the ore into small pieces; then, he places it in the hottest part of the fire and watches it. And watches it. And watches it. This is a slow and delicate process, but finally, the refiner can see his own reflection in the silver in the fire.
Even as I read this story, I could see the analogy. Brian Doerksen sings in a popular worship song, “Purify my heart. Let me be as gold and precious silver.”
Lessons in As Silver Refined
Kay shows the many places in the Bible where God compares His people to silver which He is refining, such as Psalms 66:10 CEB (“But you, God, have tested us—you’ve refined us like silver”) and Zechariah 13:9 CEB (“I will refine them like one refines silver; I will test them like one tests gold. They will call on my name, and I will respond to them”).
Christianity doesn’t exempt us from pain, from disappointment, from the hardships of this life. Nor does it demand that we deny or hide our pain or our disappointments. But it does give us One who promises a purpose, an end, and a benefit in it all. ~ Kay Arthur
In the pages of As Silver Refined, Kay walks us through the promises of Scriptures, showing how God uses every part of our lives for His glory—even those parts we look upon as failures or would prefer to avoid. She uses examples from her own life and others who’ve faces struggles to illustrate how God can work through dark times to reach out to His hurting people.
God doesn’t say the situation is good, but He does promise that because He’s your God and you’re His child, He will bring good from it. ~ Kay Arthur
Kay calls us as Christians to be living epistles—God’s letter to the world around us, who doesn’t know Him. She says that “oftentimes He’ll place you, His living epistle, in the same kind of fire, the same kind of disappointments and trials that so many others experience.”
As Silver Refined is an inspiring, thought-provoking book by one of today’s best Bible scholars. Kay shares her studies in God’s word and how she’s seen God at work in her own life and the lives of those around her. The idea of God as a refiner is now quite common in Christian circles, but Kay delves deeper into that image and what it means.
I recommend this book to anyone feeling the heat of the Refiner’s fire or walking with someone else who is being refined.
More about Kay Arthur
Kay Arthur is an international Bible teacher, four-time ECPA Christian Book Award winning author, and co-founder of Precept Ministries International. Kay hosts a daily radio, television and online Bible Study Teaching program called Precepts for Life. She teaches inductive Bible study, and has authored many inductive Bible study workbooks. The Inductive method of studying the Bible is a set of steps to follow to “mine” the details of the given book under study. It has been used by millions around the world in small to medium-sized home, church, and market place study groups. Kay and her family live in Tennessee.
If you like As Silver Refined, you may be interested in other books by Kay:
- Lord, Heal My Hurts: A Devotional Study on God’s Care and Deliverance
- Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen?: A Devotional Study on Living by Faith
- When the Hurt Runs Deep: Healing and Hope for Life’s Desperate Moments