Rob Dingman | 05 October 2017
Psalm 71:20 You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
Up until now I have not thought of God as the One who has shown me great and severe troubles. But that’s how the psalmist saw God, and praised Him for it. What good things could come from God showing a person great and severe troubles
One good thing is God makes our lives a testimony to His goodness and salvation. Verse 17 says O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. How did God teach? By showing the psalmist great and severe troubles. God saved him out of them all. That made his whole life a testimony to the fact that God is good and nothing can separate us from His love. When the psalmist says in verse 15 “My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.” he is speaking from experience. Over and over again God has delivered him from great and severe troubles. So when he says that God has power, strength, salvation, and righteousness, he is not theoretical or posing. Being saved once might be a fluke. Over and over again is not a coincidence. Knowing God’s salvation through personal experience makes a person authentic and real, and worth listening to when he speaks.
Another good thing that comes from God showing a person great and severe troubles is that He uses them to make us like Himself, meek and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29).That happens through suffering. “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.” Hebrews 2:10. Because that’s the way He perfected Jesus, it will be the way He perfects us. As we go through His ordained suffering we continually call out to God to save us, even as Jesus did. God does save us: He makes us to pray, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” It’s the humble God gives grace to, not the arrogant.
What has this got to do with God as a good Father”? God shows us great and severe troubles because we are His children and He loves us. Lamentations 3:33 says, “For He does not afflict willingly or grieve the sons of men.” He doesn’t enjoy seeing us suffer. He does it because the humbling and praying that results will make us the children He wants us to be: authentic, real, meek, full of grace and truth.
Our Father God is doing a wondrous work in our lives right now. He is teaching, disciplining us, revealing His Son Jesus in us, transforming us into His image. He will crown it by raising us from the depths of the earth, from the dead, to live with Him forever.
— Psalm 100 v5