Scripture: Psalm 66:
10 For you, God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.
11 You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.
12 You let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.
Observation: Often we experience times of great trials and testing before we receive great blessings
Application: For the past several years I had wanted my wife to go to an annual ministers mates retreat but we had never been able to work it out. This year we decided to do some fundraisers in the church and see if we could raise at least part of the money. I baked bread and sold it, and cooked a couple of breakfasts, and our wonderful church family responded in such a generous way that we raised plenty of money for Mary to go. We were so excited, and felt so blessed that she would finally be able to do this. But then as the time drew closer for her to go, there started to be problems with her work schedule, they didn’t want to give her one of the days off that she needed, then after we got that worked out, she got sick and we were worried as to whether she was going to be physically able to go. She started feeling a little better and it looked like she would get to go, then the week before, our septic tank went out and we had no plumbing for a couple of days and Mary said, “How can I go to this if I don’t have any clean clothes?” If it wasn’t one thing, it was ten others it seemed. Several men from the church pulled together and the septic tank got fixed, everything smoothed out, and Mary went to the retreat and was richly blessed.
This is a common theme for Christians I think. When God has a big blessing lined up for us, many times we will go through a tough time just before it. We will be tested, and refined like silver, all the impurities will be burned away so that when we receive that blessing, our hearts are prepared and we are leaning on God. Remember how the butterfly has to struggle and work so hard to get out of the cocoon, but without the struggle his blood would never be pushed up into his wings, they would never be full, and he would never fly. God wants us to fly.
Prayer: Father God,
When I face times of struggle and pain, I ask that you would remind me of all the blessings that have come to me after times such as those. Remind me that up ahead there is an abundant land waiting for me and that You will lead me through to it.
Yield: I am thine Oh Lord!