Read this and see if you can identify with these thoughts and feelings…..

3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. 4 They seem to live such a painless life;their bodies are so healthy and strong. 5 They aren’t troubled like other people or plagued with problems like everyone else. 6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace,and their clothing is woven of cruelty.

7 These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! 8 They scoff and speak only evil;in their pride they seek to crush others. 9 They boast against the very heavens,and their words strut throughout the earth. 10 And so the people are dismayed and confused,drinking in all their words.

11 “Does God realize what is going on?” they ask.”Is the Most High even aware of what is happening?” 12 Look at these arrogant people — enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.

13 Was it for nothing that I kept my heart pure and kept myself from doing wrong? 14 All I get is trouble all day long;every morning brings me pain.

15 If I had really spoken this way,I would have been a traitor to your people. 16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.But what a difficult task it is! 17 Then one day I went into your sanctuary, O God,and I thought about the destiny of the wicked. 18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. 19 In an instant they are destroyed,swept away by terrors. 20 Their present life is only a dream that is gone when they awake.When you arise, O Lord,you will make them vanish from this life.

21 Then I realized how bitter I had become,how pained I had been by all I had seen. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant — I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you;you are holding my right hand. 24 You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?I desire you more than anything on earth. 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,but God remains the strength of my heart;he is mine forever.

27 But those who desert him will perish,for you destroy those who abandon you. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter,and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

These words were written by Asaph several thousand years ago in Psalm 73 – but he paints a pretty good picture of the thoughts and feelings many of us have today.   Have you ever wondered the things Asaph put into words?  I have.  But like Asaph, I keep coming back to the fact that God is sovereign and in control and even though I don’t understand everything that’s going on in the world – I SIMPLY TRUST HIM.  Some people would call that stupid – I call it faith; faith in a God who has changed my life and perspective forever.  In addition to this – I would have a hard time listing all the blessings of God in my life; they are too many to count!

Yes – the wicked do often prosper, but God’s love for them hasn’t stopped and He still desires that they would repent and trust their lives to Him.  However, He’s not only loving – HE IS JUST.  And they will eventually be judged for their wickedness.  I remember reading verses 17-19 years ago when Nintendo first came out and the picture that came to my mind was ICE WORLD —- and how when you’d make a mistake in this “Nintendo world” you’d slip off into total destruction.   That’s the picture of the future for the wicked unless they repent and turn to God.

I also noticed vs. 21.  When we get focused on what other people have instead of the blessings God has poured into our lives – we will always be tempted toward bitterness.  In fact, a lack of gratitude leads to a hard heart toward people and even worse – toward God.  According to Paul in Eph. 4 – those with hard hearts end up…..”hopelessly confused.  Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him.  They don’t care anymore about right and worng, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways.  Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed.”

One remedy for a hard heart:  read these words of Asaph in Ps. 73 often and then share with others the great things God has done (and is doing) in your life.   As Asaph wrote:  My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,but God remains the strength of my heart;he is mine forever.  As for me, how good it is to be near God!   I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter,and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.


About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have five grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Legacy Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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