This psalm is for the discouraged. "Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard" (v. 8). Why? "Who keeps our soul among the living, and does not allow our feet to be moved" (v. 9). God holds our life in His hand. "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). So let's praise Him.
"For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined" (v. 10). The reason God tries us and tests us is to prove us. He's proving nothing to Himself. He knows us from top to bottom. Instead, He's proving something to us. God considers us as valuable as silver, and He puts us into situations that test and strengthen us.
Notice the images in these next two verses. "You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment" (vv. 11,12, italics mine). This indicates total defeat. We go through fire and water, but we are brought out into a wealthy place. That word wealthy means "an abundant place, a moist place, a place of running water and fruitfulness." The wilderness of Judea, where David so often found himself, was dry and barren.
The psalmist does not say, "Well, here I am in trouble again." No, he says, "God brought me in, and God's going to bring me through. And when He brings me out, I'm going to be in a wealthy place." God always enriches us when we go through difficulty. He proves us and tries us to make us more like Jesus.
The trials of God have a refining and strengthening effect. The result is they make us more like Jesus. Are you discouraged today by trials? Be encouraged that God will see you through and that He will use your trials to build you.