7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:7 NIV)
Any process of being refined means that the material must go through a process. This refining process may be very difficult, much like metals that must go through fire to become refined and precious.
Our lives, in the Spirit, can be much the same. Often are much the same. We are being continually refined in the fires of life. God may allow trial and tribulation so that we may become what He wishes us to be.