Have you noticed in life that how we view circumstances impacts our attitude? When life is good, it is often easy to follow God. But, how do I respond when I find myself questioning the fairness of God because of my circumstances?
This is an age-old dilemma. In fact, it is the problem addressed by Asaph in Psalm 73 almost 3,000 years ago. In this passage, Asaph comes to realize he is deeply troubled by his perception of what he feels is God’s lack of fairness due to the prosperity of the wicked. He realizes that this tension in him has allowed him to become bitter toward God. Notice how he summarizes this in Ps. 73:21-22,
“When my soul was embittered . . . I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.”
Asaph describes himself as a person lacking sense as though he were a mere animal in his understandings of God’s ways! His perspective had made him angry and his life reflected it. Have you ever felt that way? I know that I have.
What do we do when we struggle with our perception of the fairness of God? Asaph gives us insight today for this problem in verses 16-17. It is there that he was able to discern the truth and regain his perspective. Notice what he said,
“But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.”
Asaph had a change of heart when he went into the Temple. It was there that he talked with God, meditated and wrestled with his concerns. He does not answer why the wicked prosper, but he does realize their certain end. As he ponders this further, he mentions three things for followers of God to remember in life regardless of circumstances to keep life in perspective. In fact, these three things are critical for living life with a God-centered perspective no matter how hard or seemingly unfair our circumstances might be. As I live life, I must remember three truths:
- “You hold me by the hand” (vs 23). He realizes that in the midst of the challenges of life, God is intimately aware and involved with him. Truth number one is that we will have challenging times, but we will never fall because God is holding our hand!
- “You guide me” (vs 24). God is the one who is our Shepherd and cares for us enough to guide us in life through His Word. The second truth is that I need to remember is that God is guiding me no matter how I “feel” about my circumstances when I live by His Word.
- “You will receive me to glory” (vs 24). Asaph remembers his certain destiny! Truth number three is that upon death, God will receive me into his presence. This realization gives meaning, purpose, and hope in life.
As Asaph regained his perspective in view of God’s truth, it caused him to say:
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26
Asaph’s perspective and attitude are once again in line with the truth. His circumstances did not change, but his perspective did and that changed his attitude. His renewed view on life caused him to recommit himself to God as the number one allegiance of his heart.
Father, thank you for giving us your Word which is the truth and I can find my footing in life by standing upon it. There are times in life where things do not seem fair, but I can bank on the truth that in the midst of these times: 1) You are with me holding my hand so that I will not fall. 2) You will constantly guide me in life as I live by your Word. 3) I have a great future and hope because You will receive me into your presence at death. Father help me to “see life” as You do so that my perspective is in line with the truth. Thank you for loving me so!