Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
It’s amazing how relevant writing from thousands of years ago are to today’s society. But that is the beauty of the Bible. It’s a timeless book with eternal truths. In this Psalm, Asaph (one of three musical leaders in King David’s tabernacle service and author of several Pslams) laments over the fact that self-centered, “glamorous”, sinful people who have no interest in God are succeeding in life and encountering no problems, while he struggles and suffers. It brings the immediate charge of “it’s not fair!” Haven’t we all felt that way at one point? In today’s society, the Bible-believing Christian will encounter that same image Asaph saw. The people who embrace sin, selfishness, ego, money and sexual promiscuity are some of the greatest successes. The media fawns over stars who have some of the worst moral track records. Women have reached the point where the making of a sex tape is no longer a shame, but a career-boosting enterprise. They are apparently having the time of their lives wearing the best clothes, going to the best events and jet-setting all over the globe. Even in our personal lives we may knows families or friends who are not believers but seem to have a model household and not a care in the world. But what are we as Christians to think of their earthly prosperity?
The Psalm makes it clear of the mistake we can make when it states: For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. 7Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
Asaph was viewing the prosperity of those who did not acknowledge God through an Earthly perspective. In his foolish envy, he mistook material success as real success. This is a trap that we too can and do fall into. In our every day struggles, we can fall prey to wanting more of the beauty, wealth and popularity of those around us. Especially when we are doing our best to pray and live in accordance with the Scriptures. It can even lead us to start questioning God (because when we think “life’s not fair!” that’s precisely what we’re doing).
12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
It’s so easy to fall victim to that rebellious spirit when we are only thinking about our Earthly condition. And not looking to the eternal promises, riches and glory we have in Christ Jesus. It can make one question everything. But instead of giving place to the devil we must heed the Psalmist’s solution:
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
Sin may be exciting and alluring but it only provides a temporary thrill. The same for material wealth, which no one can bring to the grave. We are all going to meet an end and for the self-glorifying sinner, the fall is a steep one. For the Christian, it is the beginning of mansions, eternal joy, and sharing a divine inheritance with Jesus Christ. Turn your eyes and focus to Heaven and see how insignificant the success of others seem. “So foolish was I, and ignorant” says Asaph. Yes, we’ve been there. The successful sinners of our time seem to always long to fill a void only God can satisfy. And that is the blessed hope. Knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior makes you strong for any situation because He has overcome it already and won the victory for you. So let the world party in the club today. We celebrate in our hearts in Christ until we are all together praising Him in Heaven. While certain pastors say “Live your best life now!” true Christian knows we have not even come close to the best life, which is what we will have in Heaven in the presence of our God!
Until then, be strong and rejoice! God is with you. Jesus is with you. The Holy Spirit is in you. And none will ever leave or forsake you. If you are in pain, God is with you. If you are having trouble at work, God is with you. If your friends or family have turned their backs on you, God is still with you. If you are having marital problems, God is with you. Even when you are at your wit’s end and feel like you can’t take any more stress or tribulation remember — through all things the Lord is your portion. He will strengthen you, provide for you, care for you and sustain you forever.