For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
Just a little musing over Psalm 66:10-20. It just made me stop and think about why we have to go through all the hard things. All of us at some point in our lives have asked the question in response to one trial or another. We ask, "Why me?" We don't understand why the bad things happen to us. Why did my mom have to die? Why did my dad suffer with cancer? Why did my house have to be the one to burn? Why did my husband leave me? Why me?
The scripture made me think of something I heard several years ago. I don't remember who said it but his response to "why me?" was "why not me?" The Bible tells us it will rain on the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45) Just because we carry Jesus in our heart doesn't mean we won't suffer. If we want to see the rainbows we have to endure the rain. There are just some things we have to know that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt when we are covered in rain clouds.
First, KNOW that you will be tested. I often hear that God doesn't make bad things happen. What I do believe is that He allows some things to happen. I believe there is always good reason for what he allows in our life. He is a big picture God. In this scripture it tells me that God does test us. (v.10) So some things are allowed for our testing. There are some trials God just needs us to endure. He wants us to be refined and sometimes that can only happen with FIRE.
Secondly, KNOW that He will bring us through to abundance. (v.12) The scripture doesn't say an abundance of what, but whatever it is we will know it. For me, he has created an abundance of peace in my family. When my husband and I went through the FIRE with our marriage, it was lonely and painful and dark. Through that fire he has refined our marriage, our relationship, and he has given us an abundance of peace, restored our first love, and grown us into much better people. I'd say that's an abundance.
Also, KNOW that He hears us and He LOVES us. (v19, v20) However, there is a something we have to do before we are assured he hears us. We have to despise the sin in our heart. (v18) The Psalmist says that if we cherished the sin then the Lord would NOT have listened. My prayer is to "create in me a clean heart". It's what I long for, to be free from the evil, bitter thoughts that would overtake me should I let my guard down.
I think v.20 might be my favorite verse in this scripture. It says, "Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!"
Lord, I praise you for the refining fire that makes me more like Jesus. I praise you for bringing me through the fire and the abundance you have given me. Help me to remember to always speak boldly of the great works you have done and help me to remember to always hate the sin that would reside in my heart. You alone are worthy of praise for the good in my life!