The Lord predicted the pressured pathway many years before the New Testament. Christ is described as a forger of gold and silver who purifies the metals. The metal which is corrupted with the dross is God’s children.
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness (Mal. 3:1-3).
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God (Zech. 13:7-9).
Both Zechariah and Malachi predict the same process for his people. Jesus referred the smiting of the shepherd and the scattering of the sheep to himself and his disciples, which tells us this is a prediction for the New Testament times.
Job understood the process and the way the Lord was working with him and described his trials in the same words. “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Peter identifies this process with the fire that purifies us being our temptations. “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6-7). This spiritual gold is what makes the Christian rich. “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich” (Rev. 3:18). The fire is further identified with testing when Paul describes God’s testing of every man’s work.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Cor. 3:12-15).
The dross (impurities) must be burned out through trails, tribulation, suffering and other kinds of temptation.