"For you, God, tested us; your refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance." Psalms 66:10-12
This part of todays reading stood out to me. Just before these verses, the writer was praising God for His awesome deeds and power. Then the writer changes gears and speaks about how God lead them to a path of distress.
From one point of view, a time of distress can constitute a testing of God's people as to their loyalty and trust in Him. When we are tested, we have the choice of attempting it on our own (which will ultimately lead to failure) or we can stand firm by putting our faith where it needs to be; in God.
When a precious metal is being refined, the metal needs to be heated up. It is only when the metal is exposed to heat that the impurities can be separated. We too are like a precious metal and need to be exposed to difficult times in order to remove our impure thoughts and desires.
I pray that during and after the difficult times that I would be able to praise God as this writer did, and to also have the desire to tell others for what He has done for me. (vs 16)