The Place of Abundance

May 6

The Place of Abundance

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 66:5-15 | Ruth 2:1-4:22 John 4:43-54 | Proverbs 14:26-27

Today’s Scripture Focus:  Psalm 66

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.  [11] You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; [12] 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 (Psalm 66:10-12 ESV).

Sometimes the road to the place of abundance is a very difficult one. Often it calls for a time of testing and refinement. The psalmist looks at the difficult road they have been on and calls the people to “bless the Lord.” Why? Because God has taken them through the time of testing without allowing their feet to slip and he has brought them out to a place of abundance.

He recounts the difficulty of the time of testing.  He describes it as a net in which they were trapped (one translation uses the word prison), and how the times of testing feel that way. He describes it as a crushing, oppressive burden on their backs.  It was as if men were riding over their heads—utterly crushing and devastating. It was a time of going through fire and water. We have all gone through such times. They are not easy and they are not fun. But God does use such times to refine our faith and our character.

They also prepare us for the place of blessing—the place of abundance. Often in the nation of Israel, the times of testing were a means by which God brought his people back to himself. The times of testing led to times of repentance and revival that led to “the place of abundance.”

Perhaps the crushing burden you are under will be just the thing to prepare you for the place of abundance. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t lose hope. Pour out your heart to God and look for Him to rescue from the midst of the fire and water and to bring you into the place of abundance.

Lord, give me strength in times of testing. Give me hope to carry on. Remind me that these difficult times prepare us for the place of blessing. I turn to you and cry out to you. Meet me here and carry me on to the place of abundance. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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