My daughter woke up this morning not feeling well with a fever. At first, I wasn’t sure if she was just tired and wanted to stay home and put up Christmas decorations. I looked at her little face, and she looked sick. I called and cancelled today’s appointments. I think God would treat each of us the same. When we are sick or not feeling well, we can call on God to help us. The calling gives us a sense of peace, even if we are not well immediately. The recovery process can help us slow down and understand what God has planned for us.
Some days, I am so in line with God. I am giving him my praise. I am thankful. Then a few days pass. I don’t read my bible or pray, and I am at a vulnerable place. I am not armed with the righteousness of God’s word, and the world seeps into my heart. I get annoyed, angry and resentful. And, I get another reminder that I need actively seek the Lord. He is there, waiting for me.
There is a passage in Psalms that explains how God is good to his people. The author almost slipped from standing firm in the Lord. I feel the same way. Sometimes, I get distracted by the world, and all these thoughts engulf my heart. The author was starting to feel jealousy creep over him of those who seem to have it all, wealth, health, and care-free from problems. “This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.” They are arrogant with hard hearts, accumulating wealth and thinking they know more than the Lord. I know wealthy people who are amazing, kind, thoughtful and would go out of their way to help me. God isn’t talking about these lovely blessed people. This verse is about those with “callous hearts” whose “evil imaginations have no limits”. God is talking about those who “scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten” to treat others cruelly. These people say “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” These people are “wicked” and mock God. These people don’t have a care in the world as their monetary wealth grows and grows.
A psalm of Asaph.
Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
their evil imaginations have no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.
They say, “How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?”
This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
–Psalm 73:1-12 (NIV)
When I am going through life, dealing with everyday issues, it can be confusing to see NOT nice people, doing so well in life. Why do I have many issues, while they are skating smoothly through life, turning to look at me snickering and mocking me. “When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” I cannot understand this world, but I have started to grasp the goodness of the Lord. As long as my final destiny is in heaven, I don’t need to understand the world. I need to seek the Lord, each day. I don’t want to slip and get caught up in the mess of the world. I struggle each day with my own problems. I need to read the bible, pray and work on giving my problems to the Lord. My concern is getting right with God, not what others are doing or saying.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes;
when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.
When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
–Psalm 73:13-22 (NIV)
Even though I am a work in progress, God is always with me holding my hand. God directs my steps and guides me. I give God the glory for each miracle in my life. I may think that I want the material things on earth, and I often yearn for material things. God has so much more for me. On earth, I am only truly happy and at peace, when God is with me. Nothing else on earth can give me happiness like God’s peace. When I need to rest and release my burdens, God, is my “refuge”. God is my safe place, where I find true peace and happiness.
Yet 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.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
–Psalm 73:23-28 (NIV)
We have to actively seek God by reading the bible. It is so easy to slip and fall. Seek the Lord, so you don’t slip into the muck of the world. The only true peace comes from the Lord.