Have you ever been through a season of life where “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all?” seems to sum it up best? Everywhere you turn, you are swimming against the current. Everyday is a fight, and by the time you fall into bed at night you feel bloodied and bruised, like you were in the ring getting pounded for twelve rounds by Muhammad Ali, generally considered one the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Or maybe it feels like you are free falling and there is no safety net to catch you.
You wonder where God is in all this. You wonder why He allows all this “bad” stuff to happen. You know the Bible says to praise God in all things (1 Ths 5:18; Eph 5:20), but you have a hard time finding anything to praise Him for. What can God possibly be doing? Has He forgotten you? Let us turn to some words found in Psalm 66 that might shed some light on what God is doing in the midst of your ongoing struggles.
In vv.10-12 of Psalm 66 we read, “For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”
The psalmist seems to be praising God for allowing so many bad things to happen to him. What’s up with that? The psalmist knows the truth of God using pain to refine you into precious silver. Just maybe God is allowing the struggles you face on a daily basis so that He can re-tool and re-manufacture you into something beautiful. The verses we shared from Psalm 66 tell us just that; “For you, God, tested us and refined us like silver.” And look once again at how that passage ends – “but you brought us to a place of abundance.”
When life hems you in (prison), when pressures mount (burdens), when you’ve been unfairly treated (ride over you), and when one hardship comes one after another (fire and water), you can trust that you are never elsewhere than in God’s hand (see John 10:29).
So today, can you, even if you don’t feel it, praise God and thank Him for His unending love and faithfulness as He prepares to bring you into a place of abundance?
New Bern, North Carolina