“Truly God is good to Israel,
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 of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked…” – Psalm 73:1-3
Are you feeling ready to quit? Are you discouraged? Have you become worn down and thought to yourself, “I’m not making any headway, any difference, its time to throw in the towel.”
In Psalm 73, the Psalmist looks around and see the earthly abundance of those who aren’t following God and he begins to despair, in fact he spends most of the Psalm detailing how there’s no consequence for their actions and character…
In other words… He’s BITTER.
He doesn’t think God has shown up for him. Does that ring true somewhere for you?
But the writer doesn’t stop. The Scripture turns in verse 21 back to self-examination.
Listen to his words:
“When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
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.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.” – Psalm 73:21-28
In the New Testament the apostle Paul said it like this in Galatians 6:9:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up.”
The point is that we all get frustrated, we all get tired, we all get discouraged and want to give up at times. We all even have moments when we wonder if this whole “Christian” thing is worth it….
The good news is that God KNEW we would struggle with discouragement and bitterness. He gives us, then, in BOTH Testaments the exhortation to keep going, to “keep on keeping on” as Curtis Mayfield would say.
Jesus, himself knew we would need to be reminded of this. In John 16:32-33:
“Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But TAKE HEART;
I have overcome the world.”
So if this is you today, then take courage and TAKE HEART. God is still for us and still working for us and it is GOOD for us to be NEAR the Lord for HE IS OUR REFUGE!!!
Below is one of my favorite devotional songs by Hillsong United: “Take Heart”
“..for his love see us through…”