I want to start this post with a bible verse. Even if you could care less what the bible has to say or have zero interest in Christ, take a second to read it and chew on it.
“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.” – Psalm 73:1-5
Do you ever feel the way that the author of this particular Psalm, Asaph, felt? You’re struggling to keep your head above the water while the rest of the world commits every injustice imaginable yet seems to experience unlimited success, happiness, prosperity, and freedom. In other words, you’re losing, the bad guys are winning, and life feels totally unfair.
It’s been my experience that we frequently find ourselves standing on crumbling ground and much like Asaph, we feel our feet slipping. If you look out into the world, there’s so much to be downtrodden about; war, disease, human trafficking, hunger, lack of clean drinking water, bankruptcy, fraud, shootings, terrorism, lack of morality, etc. The list of problems could go on and on. And truthfully, there are two types of people in the world, those that are aware of these problems and are pained by them and those that are either oblivious to them or simply don’t care. For those that do care, including myself, it’s difficult to wrap our minds around people not caring. It adds insult to injury when those oblivious or apathetic people excel.
So you’re probably thinking: “Yeah, yeah I get it. The world sucks, people suck, and we’re just on this ride until we croak.” Well, not so fast. Let’s look at what the last section of Psalm 73 says:
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 73:25-28
For whatever reason, Asaph found hope. He recognized that despite all of his disappointments and frustrations with the culture, there is still hope to be found by being near God. Many skeptics of Christianity miss this… heck, many Christians miss this because faith is not necessarily intuitive. So with that being said, it’s clear to me that pulling yourself close to God is perhaps the only way for someone who is troubled by the brokenness of this world to find hope and strength like Asaph.