By Brooke Holt
“Bless our God, O peoples; let the sounds 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 like 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
No one likes to struggle. Let’s face it; we prefer comfort and contentment. Left to our own devices, we would always choose a life of ease. The Lord has another way for his people. While he desires for us to enjoy times of comfort and contentment, he knows that a life of constant ease does not lead to growth, transformation, and godliness. Therefore, the Lord allows his people to endure suffering and hardship.
In Psalm 66, the psalmist describes a time when the Lord allowed his people to suffer and be tested. In Egypt, they found themselves enslaved after the death of Joseph. No longer were they simply dwelling among the Egyptians but serving them. As slaves, they suffered tremendously and cried out to the Lord. Once the Lord made the way for their exodus from the land and the slavery, they wandered in the wilderness for forty long years. There, the Lord tested and tried them. The testing and trials exposed their unfaithfulness. Many Israelites did not enter the Promised Land because of their faithlessness and disobedience.
For those who did endure the testing and suffering, they eventually came to their place of comfort and contentment. The Promised Land truly abounded in every way! As people who had experienced the hardships and tests but were now enjoying the blessings of the land, the psalmist calls them to bless the Lord for all that he has done on their behalf. Though they had been unfaithful, he never had. The Lord remained with his people throughout the many ordeals and tests. He always had a way of escape and a faithful way forward.
Perhaps you can relate. If you are in a time of suffering and testing, stand firm. God reveals his promise to remain with you through Scripture. He shows that he will lead you, provide for you, and reveal the faithful way. A place of abundance lies just ahead.
Will you choose to trust God and follow his instructions even when the way is hard and uncertain? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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