July 15, 2009

What Matters Most? Why Misfortune Happens to the Righteous

In Psalm 73, Asaph struggled with the thought that wicked people were more blessed than those who spent their lives seeking to do what is right. He saw that good people suffered, while those who disregarded God's ways seemed blessed and fulfilled all their lives.

Asaph was about ready to give up, thinking his struggle to be pure was all in vain. He said, "When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end."

Asaph saw that though misfortune happens often to the righteous in this life, while good and plenty often fills the unrighteous, that the end of the unrighteous would be disaster. That is, they would be punished forever in hell. 

All this turmoil greatly troubled Asaph in his mind, but it led him to write these words:

"When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
(Psalm 73:21-26 NAS).

What a challenge Psalm 73 is for us today, who want things to go well for us, and we wine and complain when it goes bad. But if we have been washed pure by the blood of the Son of God, made righteous by faith in Him, given new life through His resurrection and have His Spirit dwelling within our hearts, then we need to learn to speak to God like Asaph did. But it is sufferings and trials that lead us to say, as he did:

"Oh God, there is nothing in heaven or on this earth that I desire more than to be near You."

Oh my Lord, help me know this desire deep within and express it in all I do and say. Amen.

1 comment:

Life Savior said...

Good picture of letting God take hold of our lives.