Today: No pain, no gain
Passage: Psalm 66
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. (Ps 66, NIV84) –emphasis added
Read the whole psalm 66. There are some good thoughts in it
In verses 10-12a, the psalmist says that God tested, brought them to prison and God Himself allowed men to ride over their heads
In other words, God allowed all those things to happen, as in the case of Job
In most cases, it is true. But then there are cases where people do the wrong things and create trouble for themselves. Don’t blame God, if that is the case!
There are two things we do, when we bring up children or train people:
- Discipline for the wrong things 2. Encouragement/reward, for things done right
The Bible also does the same. It rebukes/corrects when we do wrong, and promises rewards for doing things right
1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2 Cor 7, NIV 84)- emphasis added
The following is about Moses, who was prompted by the reward in front of him
26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. (Heb 11, NIV 84)- emphasis added
In Psalm 66, in the verses we looked at, the psalmist finally says in v.12 “we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” (Ref Isaiah 43: 1-2)
Those sufferings were predecessors to the blessings that were to follow
We see this pattern in the whole Bible – Joseph, David, Job are all examples; but the best example is Jesus himself, who went through the cross before the crown and through death, before resurrection!
When God allows “men to ride over our heads”, we better know that abundance is on the way. Otherwise, those blessings won’t taste that good!
While I was a child, I liked to eat with people working in the farm (ploughing in the mud/tilling the ground). I wouldn’t enjoy that warm food like them, because they came from that dirt/cold water and they were working hard.
Food tastes best when you have it after some real hard work!
Blessings of God taste best when they come after some suffering/pain!
Have a blessed week ahead!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank you for all that you allowed in my life. I didn’t appreciate some of them because it was not pleasant at that time, but now I am convinced that all of that happened for good. Thank you; I love you. Amen
“Sinful things look good in the beginning, but end bad; saintly things work just the opposite way”