Trusting God

A Psalmist’s Struggle

Strength of my heart

Psalm 73 is one of my favorites. It follows a man’s struggle with bitterness towards the prosperity of the wicked. The psalmist puts into words what many of us have thought at least once in our lives. The most remembered verses in that psalm is probably verses 25-26: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” But before the psalmist comes to this amazing conclusion, he wrestles with some issues.

A dear brother from Honduras came this past Sunday to teach on this psalm. He used a translator, and though the delivery of the message may have seemed choppy to some, God used His living and active Word to pierce hearts that morning. There is so much to share about what I learned, but I will narrow it down to this one thing …

How many of us can say we are immune to bitterness? We have experienced it at one point or another. Perhaps about a wrong that was never made right. Perhaps cutting words that just cut too deep. Or perhaps, like the psalmist, the bitterness was towards those who have rejected God but have lived a life of ease and prosperity. The bitterness sinks deeper in our hearts when we see our lives in stark contrast: walking in the ways of The Lord but enduring many hardships. According to the psalmist, “All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.” (v. 13).

Bitterness, when not dealt with, can turn a beautiful soul into a beast.
“When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.” (v. 21-22)

But don’t stop there. Go on to the next verse.
“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.” (v. 23)

You may be struggling with envying the wicked or growing bitterness in your heart. What will keep you from joining the wicked in their evil ways? Take courage … the Lord God will hold your right hand.

 

(Photo credit: listentothemountains)

13 thoughts on “A Psalmist’s Struggle”

  1. When I was “new” in my faith, I oftentimes would ask my husband why it was that people who openly defied the Word of God were by definition successful & prosperous while so many of God’s people struggled day in and day out. His response, “they are receiving their ‘reward’ now while our reward is awaiting us in heaven. Their reward dies with them while ours will last an eternity.” I’d love to say I never struggle with seeing the wicked thrive while the godly flail, but I still I have my moments. Thanks for the reminder not to let that bitterness take root πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks for the reminder to let go of bitterness, for God gives us the power to do so through his strength. Thanks for sharing, and bless you.

  3. One of my fave Psalms, too. Yes, I have held bitterness in my heart, too, and when it tries to take root, I am reminded of Hebrews 12:14, 15, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” I like how the NLT translates the ending, “corrupted by its poison”. I never want to poison anyone else by any bitterness I may be feeling. Thank you for sharing!

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