Daily Devotional: Psalms 66:8-15
8 Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; 9 he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. 10 For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11 You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12 You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. 13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you--14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. 15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. Selah
1 Peter 1:6-7
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
As we go through the trials of life, it is difficult for us to see any benefit that may come from them. In fact, it is these trials that often cause us to question God and his goodness. How can a God who loves us allow us to face sickness or the death of those we love? How can a God of love allow a child to die in an accident, face the horrors of cancer or live in an abusive home? I do not know all the answers because God has not revealed the whole matter to us.
What we do know is that sickness, abuse and death come to all of mankind because of sin. Before the fall of Adam none of this was in the world. Because of his sin, he, his wife, the serpent and all the earth were cursed. So, it was not God who brought all this evil upon us, but it was sin and the consequences of it.
Another side of this is that often there is no gain without some pain. Each time we suffer (for whatever reason) we are made stronger because we are forced to trust God even more than we did before. As we receive the comfort that only God can provide, we are better equipped to share that comfort with others who are going through their suffering. We look to the example of others in their faith and are made stronger and then we leave an example for more to follow us.
Heavenly Father, the more I seek to know you and the more I learn of your power, your majesty and your greatness, the more I realize how incapable I am to really understand you and your infinite nature. Increase my faith so whatever I face in this life, I will depend on you to get me through. As I am refined in your fire, mold me to be closer to your likeness. Thank you for loving me. Help me keep my eyes on you and on Jesus at your side as I allow your Spirit more freedom to work in my heart and my life. Use me in your will. I pray in the name of Jesus.