By Chelsea Pollard
There have been times in my life where I have envied the world. I knew better and a part of me hated that. Ignorance is bliss, right? I wanted to be like them, I wanted to do what I wanted to do and live carefree, not having to worry about a higher power or morality! They just have it so easy, don’t they?
Did you know this is in the Bible? Of course it is, there’s nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9)! But I didn’t know that growing up while I was struggling to build my own faith. As a Christian, I knew life wasn’t going to be easy. I knew there were going to be struggles and that I would be tempted because of my own desires. I knew better, but that didn’t make it easier. The level of comfort I had when I read Psalm 73 is hard to describe. I wasn’t alone! I believe God put this in His Word because He knew we would struggle against ourselves.
Psalm 73 was written by a man named Asaph. Asaph was frustrated because he saw that the world was evil, but they prospered. Boy, does that sound familiar. Asaph said he envied the arrogant because they had no struggles, they’re free from common burdens, they are prideful, violent, and they have evil imaginations and callous hearts. They thrived and mocked God for it.
Asaph felt afflicted and that everything he was doing to keep his heart pure was in vain. He continued in verse 16 saying “When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply, till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” When Asaph entered God’s house, he understood the fate that awaited those who are not faithful to God. In verse 27 he said, “those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.”
He says in verse 21, “when my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.” He was wrong for envying evil people and he knew that. In verse 23, “I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Asaph’s psalm hits home for me because I have been guilty of the same jealousy and ignorance. Asaph went to God when he struggled with this. That is actually where I need to be and what I need to do when I am struggling. Look to the God of all comfort, “who comforts us in all our troubles” (2 Cor 1:3,4). He takes care of us and loves us more than we could imagine. We are on the winning side, we are exactly where we need to be.
“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell all of your deeds” (Ps 73:28).