Psalm 73:28The Message
You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth!
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful.
Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again.
But I’m in the very presence of God— oh, how refreshing it is!
I’ve made Lord God my home. God, I’m telling the world what you do!
Have you ever gotten so sad or discouraged when you look around you and all you see is the people that do not serve God or just talk the walk and not walk the talk, are happy and prosperous?
Or maybe the prosperity of the wicked is waiting for you when you open your computer and check your social media. A woman who complains about her children announces that she’s pregnant with another, while you wait for just one positive pregnancy test. A man openly lusts after other women, yet he gets engaged. A man that is married is addicted to porn and continues to live a secret life and is still wealthy and happily married, A person you know is dishonest in her work receives another promotion, while you are stuck in a job for which you’re overqualified.
You feel like you simply can’t escape the injustice of it all.
The world reminds us that evil still prospers, while we, the righteous, seem to dwell in our lack believing God from paycheck to paycheck ( not all of us but some might still be in that position) . The news media reminds us that evil often wins, while innocent people suffer unspeakable horrors.
We want, but we do not have. We feel like we deserve it, but it goes to someone else that is far less deserving. We work hard for it, but it is still escapes us. All the while, we see the dishonest, the cheat, the liar, the narcissist , and the sexually immoral getting what we feel is owed to us.
Then I was confronted by the words of Psalm 73. ( you must read it all and in many versions) We see evil prosper, while the righteous suffer, and we get a front row seat to the psalmist’s struggle. Human emotion is all over the Psalms. They give us instruction for thinking through our feelings — including envy.
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)
This statement comes after much struggle, after a lot of wrestling. It is born out of a lot of emotional pain.
This passage is the climax of the entire psalm, but a lot has to happen before he can get there. The psalmist comes to see God as his portion only after he sees the abundant portion of the wicked and wonders why it’s not his, too. We all struggle at some point with comparison and jealousy. Psalm 73 shows us a better way to process those feelings and how to end up with that fact that God is still all we need forever.
Psalm 73 is a real struggle, for a real person just like you and me.
After he allowed himself to struggle, he begins to see that simply wallowing in the injustice will get him nowhere. It only leads to despair. So he runs to God, It is only here, in God’s presence, that he is able to see himself and the wicked rightly,
It is only when he goes to God that he has any perspective on his circumstances. It is only when he looks away from what his eyes can see that he realizes that his envious response will only lead to more despair, heartache and sadness. But in God’s presence, he can see clearly. This new sight and these new feelings lead him to WORSHIP. When he turned away from what he saw in front of him, and towards God’s unstoppable purpose for him, that helped him not only to praise God, but also to put away that pain that threatened to destroy him and stop his destiny.
The psalmist ends where we must end when we feel envy, jealousy, bitterness, comparison, and frustration over injustice.
Psalm 73:28- Being united with God is my highest good. I have made the Almighty Lord my refuge so that I may report everything that he has done
The nearness of the Lord is always for our good. The farther away we are from him, the easier it is to forget that He is on the throne, that he has eternal purposes and that we are his beloved children. Sometimes it takes great wrestling in our hearts and mind to get us to the place of seeing him as our portion forever.
I have to remind myself that this world is not my HOME. The final chapter has yet to be written, when we receive fullness of joy face-to-face with our King and be rewarded for our kingdom works. Until then encourage yourself in the Lord even if no one else does, its your life and you can choose to make God your refuge in the times sadness and emotional struggle and pain. He promises to be there for you in all times, good and bad and NEVER turn His back on you. Thank you Jesus!
Have you experienced this type of sadness or envy before and God’s word and worship have pulled you out of that darkness?