I wrote yesterday about the difficulties that our family and many of our friends have endured over the last few years. So today’s Psalm was especially meaningful:
Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
Psalm 66:8-12 ESV
God did not protect Israel from the “crushing burdens” of life, the furnace of affliction, the water of near-drowning. In fact, He allowed the pain to test and refine Israel’s faith.
He did not let Israel’s feet slip, despite the trials. And in the end, He restored the nation’s abundance. The nation’s resulting praise touched all the peoples, not only Israel (vs. 8). It was a witness of God’s mercy.
God does not protect us either.
In fact, He promises to let us suffer as well in order to test and refine our faith. As a result, we not only share in Christ’s sufferings, but we reveal Him more and more in our lives (through repentance). The result? Jesus receives honor and glory:
In [your salvation] you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1: 6-7
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4: 12, 13
But worth it.
Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 15:1-16:19, Psalm 66:8-15, Proverbs 16:27-30, John 7:1-24. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).