Psalm 73- “Truly God is good to those… who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious… when I saw the prosperity of the wicked… For they have no pangs until death… They are not in trouble as others are… Pride is their necklace… their hearts overflow with follies… they are always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long, I have been stricken and rebuked every morning… But when I thought to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God… You guide me with Your counsel… God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever… It is good for me to be near God…”
No doubt we can all relate to David when reading this portion of the Psalms. I know I can. I’ve been guilty of questioning God and trying to figure out if living life in a Christ-like way even matters. Does He really require that of us? If my success requires a little compromise, isn’t that okay? Doesn’t He understand? They don’t care about pleasing Him, but they got a promotion, a bonus, a child, a house, a new car, recognition… … …
Has an attitude like that ever clawed its way out of your heart and made itself evident in your life? Before you know it, you’re aggravated every day, scrutinizing everyone, and irritated by everything. You try to figure it out, but it doesn’t make sense. You try to justify every reason you come up with allowing you permission to act in a way you know isn’t right, but you can’t ease your conscience. This in turn baffles you, because “lying Sally” enjoys every moment of life and “cheating Johnny” doesn’t blink an eye over trampling everyone on his way to the top. (They are always at ease…)Things go unseen, unsaid, and unpunished and your hardworking, kind-hearted, pure-living self can’t get over it. (All in vain have I kept my heart clean and my hands washed in innocence… for I have been stricken and rebuked every morning…)
Do I sound like I’ve been there?
Well, I have been… more than once.
But, just as David said, (and I’m going to paraphrase just a bit), “When I tried to understand how this was happening… I tried to somehow make sense of it… I couldn’t do it. It wore me out…
“… until I went into the sanctuary of God…”
And each time, just calling out to Jesus took that frustrated feeling away from me. He provided that assurance that while it may take a little time, doing the right thing will always lead to victory. Compromise will only cause complications and eventual defeat. You (truly do) reap what you sow. Galatians 6:7
Living in this world will stress you out, if you let it. Working alongside selfish people becomes tiresome. Dealing with rude attitudes, backbiting gossip, and deceiving tactics on a daily basis can wear on one’s nerves. We all deal with it. And, if we’re honest, there are moments when it just seems easier to go with the flow and do whatever we need to do to make things easier and better for ourselves, no matter what that entails. After all, others seem to get away with it, right? No, they don’t. God sees it all. And if things are left in a dishonest state, it’ll be brought to the light soon enough. So, do the honorable thing in every situation.
The only way you’ll find strength to do that is spending time with the Lord. Read His word to glean counsel and wisdom. Rest in Him to soak in some patience and forgiveness. It is good for me to be near God…
Without His presence in my life, I’d make a terrible mess of things. If I didn’t allow Him room to influence my actions, I’d make a multitude of foolish mistakes. I’d be drowning in a sea of regrets and battling chaos, confusion, and consequences everyday.
But, thankfully, that’s not my story… because I have learned just how badly I need to lean on Him. That takes the pressure off of me. He’s such a wonderful God! He’s so easy to serve… We’re the ones that receive all the benefits of it!
Prayer: Dear God, help me keep my focus on You. Give me a determination to read Your Word to learn how to deal with every situation. Help me remember that it will always be worth it to do what is right. Give me strength, dedication, patience, and a forgiving spirit as I walk through this life. You have been good to me, and I trust Your leading. I love You, Lord. Amen.