My devotion time has lately found itself reading the psalms.  Yesterday and today I was in Psalm 126

Psalm 126:1 When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion,
    We were like those who dream.
Psalm 126:2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter
    And our tongue with joyful shouting;
    Then they said among the nations,
    “The LORD has done great things for them.”
Psalm 126:3 The LORD has done great things for us;
    We are glad.

This psalm reflects back on a time when God restored His people back to their land from Babylonian captivity.  It was almost unreal to them – dream like is the way it’s stated in scripture.  The restoration witnessed by the surrounding nations and felt by Israel filled both their mouths with words of praise, joy, and laughter. It’s encouraging really.  We see how God keeps His promise and restores His people.  He gives them something to praise and by joyous about.

This week, we’ve read about going through trials and tribulations, periods of life when we’ve been falsely accused, times we’ve been let down by those we trusted.  Often these leave us feeling imprisoned.  The silver thread that is woven throughout our afflictions reminds us that God intends them for good.  He is unceasingly building our character as we die to ourselves and become more Christlike.

Undoubtedly, Israel had a few lessons to learn throughout her captivity.  And when her time of restoration came, God could be trusted to deliver her from captivity as He also can be trusted to deliver us when the time is right.

But there’s something else that caught my soul.  It’s found in verse 3.

Psalm 126:3  The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad.

It’s easy to fail to remember that the Lord has done great things for us – even through the midst of life’s afflictions.  Commonly, “great things” end up being just things to us.  It’s easy to come up a laundry list of blessings from God.  Often, things like our church, job, family, house, clothing, food, and yes deliverance from afflictions, all end up on that list.

But those are just things outside of our souls.  Pause for a moment, as I did, and take a look within to what truly great thing He did.

Christ laid down His crown in heaven for a crown of thorns…for us.  He was brutally beaten…for us.  The Son of God was misunderstood, imprisoned, spit on, and ridiculed…for us.  He was falsely accused..for us.  He was nailed to a cross, treated as a sinner…for us.  He died…for us.

And He lives…for us!

Stop and think about verse 3 again.

When you reduce life down, what is left is this; if Christ lives in you and if He never did anything more than forgive you of your sins, then He has done the absolute greatest thing for you – in spite of any affliction that you experience.  Remove all the outside blessings and look inward to the greatest blessing of all.