I am a Jesus pusher!!! “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matthew 5:10). Paul used the term tribulation to describe persecution as quoted above (1 Thessalonians 3:3-4). Persecution is one form of tribulation that God permits and for which He calls us “Blessed.” This word comes from the Latin word “tribulum.” It describes a threshing sledge or flail. This is a threshing instrument consisting of a staff with a short heavy stick dangling on the end. The farmer would use the flail to beat and bruise the sheaves. This enabled him to separate the golden grain from the chaff and straw. Persecution is a picture of God’s threshing instrument in our lives. His purpose is not to destroy us, but to separate what is good, heavenly, and spiritual within us from what is wrong, earthly, and fleshly. It will take the blows of adversity and persecution to accomplish this.
The prophets of old wrote, “He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:3). A Bible study group, wondering about the deeper meaning of this verse, made an appointment with a silversmith. As the silversmith revealed to them the process of refining, he was asked, “Do you sit while the refining is going on?” To that he replied, “Oh, yes, indeed. I must sit with my eyes steadily fixed on the surface. If the time necessary for refining is exceeded to the slightest degree, the silver is sure to be injured.” Then the silversmith gave the most revealing statement of all. He said, “I only know when the process is complete by seeing my own image reflected on the silver.” Will I allow Jesus to form His image in me? I am a Jesus pusher!!!