Psalms 66:10-12 You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. The you put a leader over us. We went through the fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.
We go through so much here on earth, so much. Some days it feels like we may not possibly make it. Then the devil throws so much in our path. God watches us and observes how we go through our trials. He watches to see if we remain faithful to him. Our trials often reveal what is deepest in our heart. So often without our trials we would not even know there was something in our character that we needed to work on! When those things deep in our heart come to the surface we get an opportunity to change and grow... God wants to purify us.... we need to know where we are weak. So often God is waiting to rescue us. He is waiting so we can see where our faults and our weaknesses are. I think when we do not face our troubles with grace, when our faults are revealed what we do next is important. We need then to turn to God and thank him for revealing to us the sin in our heart, we need to ask forgiveness for how we reacted and we need to learn and move forward. Then the next time we will know to ask for God's amazing grace. When God sees that we have learned to trust in him, to have a purer heart he will then give us, as Joyce Meyer puts it "double for our trouble" (Isiah 6:7).
When we go through hard times, and we learn and we grow toward God, when we shed what God has revealed to us Isiah 6:7 tells us this "Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land and everlasting joy will be yours." God tested the people of Israel...they often messed us.. just like we often messed up. God knew they would mess us, God knows that we will mess us. God gives us the opportunity to see the wrong deep within us so that we can do better and when we learn and we grow God give us "double for our trouble."
We need to learn that God is not putting us on a guilt trip, God is refining us. God is pointing out our faults because he loves us and wants us to do better. God wants us to thank him for point out where we are weak, ask for forgiveness, learn and move forward. We don't have to look back and condemn ourselves for messing us...we have been forgiven. We get to be forgiven and move forward in God, with God and be better next time.
God told me one morning, when I was entertaining the guilt the devil was putting in my head, he said to me.... "Jeannie when you spend time worrying about the person you didn't know how to be, you can't become the person you were meant to be." God was telling me not to feel guilty, just to move forward and do better. God was telling me know you know, you can be better and stronger.
God's goal is not punishment, it is refinement so that we can be our best, when we learn God showers us with blessings because he loves us so much! Wow what a wonderful God we have!!