“For You, God, tested us; You refined us as silver is refined. You lured us into a trap; you placed burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us out to abundance” (Psalm 66:10-12, HCSB).
The Psalmist indicates that refining is a process meant to purify God’s people.
And if these verses allude to God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage, the Psalmist seems to apply Israel’s experience personally to us.
Men riding over the heads is a description of oppression, but there also may be an allusion to the chariots of Egypt. Fire and water are used elsewhere in the Old Testament in the context of trials, but they may also allude to God’s pillar of fire and the water of the Red Sea.
Whatever connotation or double meaning embedded in these verses, the point is that trials and testing are transitional to abundance…
Troubles yield blessings!
When God brings the abundance of His blessing, it’s often by way of trials and testing.
It’s called abundant life!
You might ask, “Can’t God just send me the blessings without the trials?”
During the testing, we learn to rely on God. During the blessing we tend to forget about our reliance on God and rely on ourselves.
Hopefully, as a result of the refinement process the Psalmist describes in these verses, we can learn to continue trusting God with the humility gained from testing so we can effectively deploy the blessing.
Because, when God blesses you, it’s not just for you…
Sure, God loves you and loves to bless you. But He blesses you so you can bless others and in so doing, you bless Him.
So, our trials and troubles are like fortunate misfortunes!
But in our consultations with God and one another, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out ways to avoid the trial. In fact, if you’re like me, you spend much of your prayer time imploring God to protect you and your loved ones from trouble.
And, it’s okay to pray that way.
Jesus taught us to pray for deliverance from evil (or the evil one).
But the bottom line is, the road to blessing is a bumpy one and there’s trouble at every turn!
Let your times of trials and testing be times of planning and preparation for how you’re going to spend the blessing that’s sure to be at the end of the road.
“A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).