Wednesday, January 06, 2016 – Read – Psalm 66:8-15 – The God of Our Trials!
This Day in History
1497 – All Jews were expelled from Graz (Syria).
1535 – The City of Lima Peru founded by Francisco Pizarro.
1759 – George Washington married Martha Dandridge Curtis. 1773 – Massachusetts slaves petitioned the legislature for freedom.
1832 – The New England Anti-Slavery Society organized in Boston.
1838 – Samuel Morse made the 1st public demonstration of the telegraph.
1850 – The future renowned English Baptist preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon was converted to a living faith at the age of 16, in a Methodist chapel.
1861 – Florida troops seized the Federal arsenal at Apalachicola.
1898 – The1st telephone message from a submerged submarine was made by Simon Lake.
1927 – US marines were sent to Nicaragua.
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 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.
I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah
Do you think that when you are going through deep trials that you have been forsaken by God?
The Psalmist reminds us that not only are we not alone in our trials, but God in His grace and mercy has designed that very trial just for us.
Notice he says, “For you O God have tested us;” It is God that is the tester and not circumstances, “bad luck”, nature, Satan, or other people. Yesterday we were reminded about the keeping power of God as Pharaoh and his army came charging after the Israelites as they left Egypt. Pharaoh was simple an instrument used by God to test and prove His people. Here we are reminded of that great truth again. “And you shall remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not.” (Deuteronomy 8:2)
Because of their lack of faith, God caused the Israelites to wander on their pathway to the promised land. They encountered many difficulties during that time but God never left them alone. He gave them constant reminders of His presence. Remember the pillar of fire at night and the smoke by day that each one could see and know God was leading them. God by grace has given the believer two things to remind us as well. First He has give us His Holy Spirit who will never leave us while we remain in this world. “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may stay with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; who the world cannot receive, because it doesn’t see him not, and doesn’t know him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
The second thing that He uses to remind of His constant presence with us is His Word. God speaks personally to each of His dear elect children as they by faith read and understand His Word. Paul reminds us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16) God’s word and the assurance that it brings to each believer leads us and teaches us God’s will for our lives.
But there is another way in which God demonstrated to the Israelites His constant presence. Look at what God did to their clothes and shoes. “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not worn out on you, and your shoe is not worn out on your foot.” (Deuteronomy 29:5) Each day His provision for us demonstrates His constant presence. Our government has tried to take the place of God in our lives and really desires that citizens across our land depend totally on them for everything from birth to death. BUT God is the object of the faith of true believers not any man. You may say that our clothes and shoes wear out. They don’t last 40 years. Perhaps we have never allowed God to test us with the common things of life. Early in our Christian lives, God led my dear wife and I to pray together concerning the common needs of our lives in serving Him. We asked God to never allow us to live in a way that we did not have to totally depend on Him to supply our daily needs. One of the ways in which He has done that is with our cars. In these many years since then, we have never bought a car because we were tired of the one we had, or wanted a newer model or for any other reason than we needed another one. One in particular comes to mind. While pastoring a very small work in Pennsylvania, we needed a car. An old gentleman had a car that he could no longer drive. We purchased a 1974 Oldsmobile from him for 300.00. It looked bad, needed tires and a battery but it was big enough that our whole family could ride in it. Well over 10 years later, it finally stopped running. By then it had 300,000 miles on it. The only repairs it ever needed was fan belts, a new battery again, and tires. I am convinced that only God could have keep it going without repairs for those years and miles.
Your life has marks of God’s presence as well. Most of the time, we don’t take time to consider that in the midst of our troubles and tribulations, God has designed them for us and led us through each one. That’s why the Psalmist determined to come to the Lord’s house, Keep his promises to God that he made while he was suffering, and above all worship and praise Him.
Then he said Selah. What does that mean? It’s a musical pause found only in the psalms. Literally, it means, “Stop and consider this!” Perhaps you and I both need to “Stop” when we face difficulties, and consider God’s purpose and presence in our lives.
“Beloved, don’t think it is strange strange concerning the fiery trial which is going try you, as though some strange thing is happening to you: But rejoice, because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; so that, when his glory will be revealed, you may be glad too with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)