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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

But Thou Broughtest Us Out...

Psalm 66:10-12 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

There is a song that I really love, and listen to often, that is called "Though You Slay Me". Here are a few of the lyrics:
"You struck down to bind me up--You say You do it all in love, that I might know You in Your sufferings. Though You slay me, yet will I praise You. Though You take from me, I will bless Your name. Though You ruin me, still I will worship, sing a song to The One Who's all I need!"

What powerful words! When I first heard the song, I thought it was a little extreme in some of the wording..."though you ruin me"? And yet what other word than ruin could you use to describe the trials of Job? Or the dark, painful valleys that so many of God's saints have walked through with the help of The Saviour? 

Sometimes, for reasons that are perfect and just, God chooses to try us in seemingly extreme ways. In His infinite wisdom, He knows that we need that particular valley at that exact time. He takes us into the net, lays affliction upon us, causes men to ride over our heads--He brings us through fire and through water. 

And what does the next part of our passage say? "but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." God shapes our lives like a sculptor molding something masterful. He prunes us like grapevines that must be cut nearly to the earth in order to bring forth rich and beautiful fruit. He leads us like a Shepherd, taking His flock through a fearful canyon, to reach the fertile green pastures on the other side.

The experiences that seem to shatter our souls into shards of pain and grief are stepping stones to the new, more radiant person that God desires us to be! Sure, we may collect a few scars and bumps along the way, but just like physical markings, they tell a story. A story of how God is lovingly, faithfully shaping us to be more like His Son, Jesus Christ. 

There is a very popular saying that is running around that goes like this: "God will never give you more than you can handle!" Let me just say right now...

That. Is. Not. True.

It's not! In 1 Corinthians, God's Word tells us that we will not be TEMPTED above that we are able. Temptation to sin will never be more than we can handle, because God provides a way to escape. 

But trials? God absolutely will give you more than you can deal with--in your own strength. God doesn't want you to handle everything on your own! He wants you to be continually leaning on and trusting in HIM to give you strength! He wants to be your Help, your Shield, your Guide, your Light, your Father, your Shepherd, your Everything. So when trials come, YOU should not be the one handling it...God should be. He will carry your burdens for you. In the very words of our Saviour: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." What precious words of promise from One who wants to carry and comfort you as you walk life's path!

When you come to Him for strength in the trials that come your way, you'll be able to look back and see where those hard and weary times were being perfectly orchestrated by The Master Planner. They were all for the beautiful purpose of bringing you out into a truly wealthy place. <3

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