7 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Deuteronomy 18:1-20:20
Luke 9:28-50
Psalm 73:1-28
Proverbs 12:10

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 73:25-26 (NLT):” Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

The verses for today are so heart-warming, aren’t they? They sound like they were uttered by someone who doesn’t have a care in the world … until you read the rest of the Psalm.

I love the realness of the Psalms. The writers don’t gloss over the difficulties or the seeming inconsistencies of life.

In Psalm 73, the writer is struggling to understand why the wicked are prospering. All the while, he is following the Lord and is grappling with the injustices of life.

Listen as he expresses his heart’s question:

Psalm 73:13-14 (NLT): “Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.”

Do you hear what he’s saying? He’s struggling to understand if following the Lord is worth it since doing so seems to have no benefit. As he obeys the Lord’s commands, his days are simultaneously filled with grief.

At its core is the erroneous belief that a good heart should always be rewarded with an easy, pleasant life. We struggle with this expectation, too, don’t we?

“God, why did this happen to me? After all that I’ve done for You, why is my life so hard? It’s not fair!”

Well, friend, the Psalmist realized that to get himself to a healthier emotional state, he had to change his thinking. He had to focus on something else.

So, what did he do? He focused on his God and eternity…

Psalm 73:16-20 (NLT): “So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.”

The writer looked to eternity and realized that the current injustices were only temporary. Eventually, we will all arrive at our eternal home. Those who reject Christ will spend eternity in Hell regardless of how enjoyable and exciting their lives seemed on earth. Those who have submitted their lives to Christ will enjoy the eternal splendors of Heaven irrespective of how difficult their life was here on earth.

This mindset is what led the Psalmist to express his adoration for his God.

Psalm 73:25-26 (NLT): “Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.”

The guy who wrote this didn’t have an easy life. Instead, his life was filled with questions, difficulties, and frustrations. Yet, he chose to focus on the Lord in spite of it all. He looked to his eternal reward and found happiness in it. In light of this, he was able to come to a positive mindset in the face of life’s trials.

We can do the same, friend. If life gets us down, we can look to Heaven and realize that our God desires us to enjoy Him in eternity and today.

But, as New Testament believers, we also realize that we should never be satisfied that the wicked are headed to Hell. It should break our hearts. We have Good News that can bring new life to the hardest of hearts. Let’s be open today to share the Gospel with whoever God will send our way. 

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by 胡 卓亨 on Unsplash