Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Testing and Blessing, Ours and the Lord's

Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound 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 as silver is tried. 
You have 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

There is much to say about this great Psalm of praise, but let our focus be on this section of praise as the Psalmist praises God for His testing and refining them, His keeping them during the time of testing, and His bringing them out of the testing into a place of spiritual abundance.

God has put their spiritual mettle to the test as one would test silver.  How is silver tested?  It is tested by turning up the heat until its impurities and infirmities come to the surface.  As the infirmities and impurities come to the surface the silversmith scrapes them off and then heats the fire even hotter to remove those that are more deeply imbedded in the metal .  He does this until he can see his reflection in the silver.  That is when he knows the silver has been thoroughly tested and purified.  This trying of silver not only purifies the silver but strengthens it as well; and it serves to prove the genuiness and quality of the silver.  The higher quality, the fewer the impurities; and a lesser metal, metal that is not genuine silver, would not be able to stand the heat.

God, the master craftsman of our faith, is about the task of testing and refining our faith.  And He uses that testing and refining to bring us to a place of spiritual abundance.  He uses the very testing He puts us through to broaden our faith, deepen our faith, and purify our faith; and in the time of testing He will not let the faith of the true Christian fail (Philippians 1:6).

This is why the Psalmist is praising God before the peoples.  He does not keep his praise silent or to himself for he wants to share the greatness of what the Lord has done for his soul (Psalm 66:16).  

We are to give thanks in all things.  Why?  Because the Lord is working for our great good in all things, leaving nothing unused to make the image of Christ shine in our life more brightly than ever.  Let us bless the Lord, privately and publicly, for His testing, His keeping, and His blessing us with spiritual abundance.

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