Prove My Heart, O Lord
Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
“We, too, often forget that God lays our afflictions upon us; if we remembered this fact, we should more patiently submit to the pressure which now pains us. The time will come when, for every ounce of present burden, we shall receive a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
What purpose does God have in taking you through painful or difficult circumstances? How has God used affliction in your life to test and refine you? Is there fruit that has been brought forth, and will God continue to bring forth more fruit in your life? The question we most frequently asked is, “Why, Lord?” Why has this happened to me or to my family? What good will come from this pain and suffering and how will I ever, “In every thing give thanks:” when I hurt so bad?
These are hard questions that fill our minds when experiencing tremendous loss, dashed hopes, and unfilled dreams. The humiliation of rejection by the ones we love, the dull ache of loneliness, or, the reality of failure that is one’s own fault. All of these and many more are the circumstances that contribute to anxiety and the emotional pain we suffer at various times in our lives. Sometimes we are even called upon to help carry the burdens of others experiencing devastating adversity in their lives––knowing when friends and loved ones hurt, we hurt along with them.
The psalmist is eager to share with others what God has done for him. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, (those that are saved) and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. Though pain and suffering has filled his life, he is willing to express gratitude for what God has done for him. He is trusting God in the midst of adversity. The response the psalmist has towards God is that of praise for who He is and his confession of sin that God may hear his prayer.
When we are going through difficult times in our lives, we are to praise God for His greatness, mercy and love and ask Him to search our hearts for any sin that may be there. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more (Psalm 119:18,34; 25:3,4; Job 34:32). We can praise God for the trials He has used to test us and praise Him for His promise to bring us through those trials to accomplish His purpose.
Thought: Admit to God any sin that you have been holding on to in your heart and ask Him to give you a submissive heart towards Him. Pray for a heart that will openly receive whatever God brings into your life as you trust Him to strengthen you and give you a peace in the midst of life’s storms. When all looks hopeless, remember, Christ is still alive and we can bring any situation to Him, a place of power and authority, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27b).