Lesson Overview: St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday filled with four-leaf clovers, leprechauns, and pots of gold! We want the gold at the end of the rainbow because gold has incredible value. The reason it’s valuable is because of how pure it is! Purity can only be found in one way: refinement. This youth group lesson examines how God refines us as pure as gold!

Bible: Proverbs 17:3; 1 Peter 1:7; Isaiah 48:10

Bottom Line: Let God purify your heart!

Capture: Grab their attention with an illustration.

  • Illustration/Story: Share an example of something that has extreme value. Present a physical representation of something made of gold to your students to help illustrate the point! Precious metals and minerals are incredibly valuable because of the process they undergo to become valuable!

  • The only way gold because pure and valuable is through the process of refinement. Through intense heat, the impurities are burned away, and what is left is only what is excellent! God often refines us in the same way. He allows the fire and pressure of life to burn away the impurities so that we are made valuable — even more than gold!

Connect: Connect them to God’s word.

  • Tension Question: Has God refined you before? Often, He uses circumstances and situations that are often difficult to try and test us for the purpose of refinement! It may be painful, but it’s on purpose!

  • Scripture: Proverbs 17:3 — The Lord tests our hearts in the refiner’s fire. The purpose of the fire is to purify and develop us!

Consider: What does this mean for us today?

  • Scripture: 1 Peter 1:7 — It is the trials and the refiner’s fire that prove our faith is genuine. While it isn’t always fun — it’s a necessary part of relationship with God.

  • Following Jesus is a guarantee that you will be dipped into the refiner’s fire. Jesus loves you too much to allow you to stay where you are spiritually and emotionally. He wants to grow you and purify you, developing you into His perfect mold for your life.

  • The reason that gold and silver are so valuable is because of how pure they are. The only way that these precious metals are purified is through the fire.

  • Scripture says that your faith, when tested and developed, is even more precious than gold! While it might not feel fun, God will use the trials in your life to develop you into the image of Christ.

  • It’s easy to throw things in the fire but much more difficult to throw ourselves in the fire. Throw yourself into God’s plan for your life, even though it means difficulty, discipline, and development. Be thankful that your trials are producing genuine faith!

  • Bottom Line: Let God purify your heart!

Collide: How do we apply this in our lives?

  • Scripture: Isaiah 48:10 — This is a tough passage to swallow! God clearly states that the place we will be refined is through the “furnace of suffering.”
  • This is one of the most counterintuitive thoughts for a comfortable, Western Christian. We are not good at being uncomfortable. God’s plan for us, however, requires a pressure that only comes from suffering.
  • This doesn’t mean that God is orchestrating terrible things in your life to make you a better person, but it also does not mean that He won’t allow things, difficult as they may be, to develop you as a Christ-follower.
  • The furnace is inescapable. The only choices we have are to run from God or receive His refining. Receive His refining fire and grow into who He has made you to be!
  • Application: Receive God’s refining fire.

Call: How do we respond to the message?

  • Altar moment: Don’t run from suffering and pain. It’s natural for us to try and escape things that feel uncomfortable. Lean into what God has for you, even when it hurts!
  • Small Group Questions:
    1. Why is it hard for us to follow God when things are uncomfortable?

    2. Have you surrendered your life to God, no matter the cost?

    3. What does it mean to throw yourself into the fire?

    4. How can you receive God’s refining fire this week?

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