Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

It’s called Faith!

Meditation for the week of August 5, 2012

A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. (Psalms 73:1-2)

We know God doesn’t think like we think (Isaiah 55:8) so we don’t always understand His ways. He is presented to us as a Father, but frankly I sometimes wonder about His parenting skills. He is presented as a Savior, but there are times when it seems to me that He could intervene on behalf of His own and save in a practical way when He doesn’t. We are told He is compassionate, but where is the compassion when one of His own is suffering? Where is that compassion when families are torn apart by sin and sickness or when the bread winner loses his job through no fault of his own? One can understand why Asaph would say, “my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.”

Asaph is watching an upside down world, where the proud and rich are respected and where they seem to be trouble free. They oppress others and get by with it. They think they are not accountable to God. Asaph has tried to be reverent and has tried to live with a good conscience. Yet, he seems to be suffering at the hand of God while the wicked seem to be prospering. What gives? At least Asaph is honest about his feelings. You would get the impression from some super human Christians that they have never gotten discouraged nor have they ever questioned the ways of the Lord.

I think all of us who have put our faith in the Lord Jesus at times wonder why we seem to have problems that the wicked and unsaved do not seem to have. What is the point of serving God and trusting in the Lord if we then have it so much worse than the rebellious? Why are we poor when they are rich? Why are we sick while they are healthy? Why are they the proud task masters while we are the servants? What is the point in trying to do right?

I think Asaph finally figured it out in verse 17, “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.” We who worship the Living God are not living for time but for eternity. Our END is secure. Their end is destruction. When we start comparing ourselves to those whose hope is in this world only, Satan starts messing with our minds. In addition, it only seems like the rich, arrogant and rebellious have no problems. When we get to know them and get behind their public reputations, we find out their problems are probably worse than ours. In addition, they have no Lord to believe in and no future to encourage them.

No wonder when Asaph gets his thinking straightened out he says he was foolish and ignorant. He was thinking like a beast. Asaph has an “afterward” that those who live for time do not have. Verse 24 says, “You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory.” The arrogant live for time and by their own strength. We who are saved have something better. It is called faith! Sometimes we need to get alone with God in his dwelling place to have that faith renewed. But while we may get discouraged, we will never be forsaken. And if this life seems pointless, it surely makes us look forward to our “afterward” that much more.

While I was meditating on this Psalm, one of my friends posted the words of a hymn on Facebook that expresses my concluding thoughts completely. I had never heard the words before but they were written by Anne S. Murphy in 1908 and they go like this:

There’s a peace in my heart that the world never gave,
A peace it cannot take away;
Though the trials of life may surround like a cloud,
I’ve a peace that has come here to stay!

Bruce Collins

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