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Blessings In Disguise
"A Christian is a bird that can sing in winter as well as in spring." - Thomas Manton
Someone once said that - "Afflictions are often God's best blessings sent in disguise."
Oh! How comforting these words are! Perhaps you are presently encountering afflictions. Be encouraged today and know that God has great blessings in store for you - blessings that you can't see, but they are waiting in the shadows.
The Scriptures abound with verses which depict the various trials which a Christian oftentimes faces. Let's examine these verses to see what the Bible teaches about trials and testings in a believer's life -
Psalm 71:20 says - "Thou, which hast shown me great and sore troubles..."
In this type of trial, the Christian encounters multiple and severe straits and difficulties. He almost feels as though he is buried under them for they are so great and so many.
Psalm 66:12 says - "Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads..."
God allows him to fall under the dominion of his enemy for a season. He feels oppressed, subdued, and trodden down by men.
Psalm 66:12 says - "...we went through fire and through water..."
This trial is one of a most torturing and overwhelming kind. He is made to feel as though he is passing through burning flames and raging floods - figuratively speaking.
Psalm 66:11 says - "Thou broughtest us into the net..."
In this trial, he finds himself confined in a particularly unfavorable setting or circumstance with no possible way out. Or he actually feels as though he has been taken captive like a beast caught in a snare.
Psalm 66:11 says - "...Thou laidst affliction upon our loins."
The loins are the seat of strength. What this trial entails is that the Christian's strength is put to the test. He feels as though he is stretched to the utmost - almost like a rubber band that is ready to snap.
Psalm 66:10 says - "For Thou, O God, hast proved us: Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried."
The picture which is drawn here is that of melted and refined metals. The trials described here are likened to a fiery furnace. In this fire, the real nature of his attachment and allegiance to the Lord Jesus is severely tested.
Psalm 60:3 says - "Thou hast shown Thy people hard things..."
Here he is said to face reversals, disappointments, and calamitous events of all kinds.
Psalm 60:3 says - "...Thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment."
This particular trial leaves him feeling like he is at his wit's end - not knowing what to do. He is supposedly given a cup to drink from - the cup of astonishment - the cup of trembling and reeling. He feels as though he has no sure footing and is reeling back and forth like a drunken man.
Psalm 71:20 says - "Thou...shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth."
The "depths of the earth" represent the lowest point. Throughout this particular trial, he feels as though he is being swept over with wave after wave, billow after billow, as well as with great floods and masses of water. He also feels as though he has fallen into a deep abyss or gulf and cannot get out.
Thank God that - just as there are Scriptures describing the nature of the trials that we as believers in Jesus will face - there are also verses which speak of the glory that follows each period of testing.
Psalm 71:21 says - "Thou shalt increase my greatness..."
God promises that He will once again restore the believer to greatness. All that he lost - God will not only restore but increase it in the end. Thank You, Jesus! He promises to do even greater things for His beloved child - exceeding abundantly above all that he could ever ask or think
Psalm 71:21 says - "...comfort me on every side."
God promises that He will surround His dear child. He will go around him and encircle him with comforts, joys, and great blessings. He will surround him with friends and comforters in all quarters.
Psalm 66:12 says - "...but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place."
After undergoing a period of severe testings, he is promised a place of refreshment - moist, overflowing, and well-watered. It's a place of abundance like the garden of the Lord where his cup runs over with Great Joy. As dry as the desert was that he once found himself in, now he finds himself in a place of ample rivers, springs, and streams. Oh! How refreshing this place is!
Psalm 138:7 says - "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me..."
God promises new life and lifting up to all His dear children who were brought low. From their lowest state, He raises them up to greater heights than they have ever known. He cheers all those who were of a drooping spirit. They are made to feel as though they have a new purpose for living. They feel energized with a brand-new confidence in the goodness of the Lord. All of their troubles are passed away just as He promised. Their darkness has turned into a Sunshiny Day. Everything is fresh once again.
Matthew Henry, the Bible commentator, stated - "Sometimes God makes His people's troubles contribute to the increase of their greatness, and their sun shines the brighter for having been under a cloud."
God always has good in store for those who love Him.
Are you facing "great and sore troubles," O Child of God?
Do you feel as though men are oppressing you and running over your head - trodding you down in your present circumstances?
Or perhaps you feel as though -
...you are passing through burning flames and raging floods - overwhelming situations and circumstances
...you are in a net or snare of some sort and cannot get free
...your strength is being tested to the max
...you are in a furnace where everything is being burned up except the Faith you are standing on
...you have encountered painful reversals and disappointments
...you are at your wit's end - staggering about like a drunken man who has no sure footing for his steps - ready to buckle under the pressures of life.
Know this - your circumstances are not here to stay.
The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
You will soon see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You are coming out of all of this.
You can count on it!
God's promises are still true.
God promises that He will -
...restore all that the devil stole from you and with increase
...encircle you with comforts and joy
...give you refreshing and abundance
...lift you up and revive you - give you a brand-new start - new beginnings.
As Matthew Henry said, your sun is going to shine so much brighter after being under a cloud for so long. You can count on it.
"Afflictions are often God's best blessings sent in disguise."
God has His Best just waiting for you.
Be encouraged today!
Begin to sing a new song to the Lord.
Your winter is almost over.
Spring is just around the corner.
May God Bless His Word.