Praise Week: When God Brings Pain

“For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” (Psalm 66:10-12)

How do you deal with the undeniable reality of painful moments in your past when you are praising God? What’s the best approach? Should you pretend like those moments never happened? Is it impolite to bring them up in the middle of praising God for His goodness to you?

praise_337Right in the middle of this great psalm of praise to God, David reaches back to a painful time in Israel’s history – and says that God did it to them on purpose. He makes a choice to believe that God was responsible both for bringing them into that terrible season and bringing them out of it again.

Would a good God really “test” his people and use hard times to “refine us like silver”? Yes, he does – and the fact that he does is evidence that he is good and loving and powerful. David saw that God cared about his people too much not to use terrible circumstances to draw them into the place they would find the most meaningful and satisfying life – in closer relationship with him.

Can we praise the God who takes us into and out of life’s most difficult times?

Think: Have you noticed that God has used some of the harder times of your life to draw you closer to him? Do you believe the best life is lived in leaning more closely on God?

Pray: Ask God to help you to praise him for being your good God even during the most difficult times of your life.

Do: Read Job’s shocking statement about this idea in Job 13:15, then listen in Hebrews 12:7-11 says about hard times and our Father’s loving discipline.