Jeremiah 12:1 “Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?”
I cannot watch the news networks anymore.
Even to hear just five minutes, exposes my heart to such wickedness. I look at the corruption in government, the violence in our streets and even the church is not immune to the sin that seems to rise up everywhere.
It is not just the wickedness of man that causes us to question. When bad things happen to good people; when our trials seem greater than we can bear; when all that seems fair is gone and wave after wave of trials and burdens unceasingly wash over us; we get discouraged and depressed and wonder; ‘Where is God in all this?’
We feel as if God has forgotten us, left us alone or that we have done something so heinous, that He has utterly rejected us. Without the clear guidance of the Word of God, we would be drowning in a sea of confusion.
Asaph detailed this problem as he wrote in one of the psalms:
Psalms 73:3 “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”
First, he was looking in the wrong place.
When we apply our own sense of justice to situations and circumstances, we open ourselves to be swayed by opinion, prejudice, or our preferences. We see the wicked prosper and wonder;
“What about me?”
Psalms 73:5 “They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.”
Secondly, he began to compare his situation with others.
2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
Comparison pulls you down to a level that God never intended us to live. The gathering of possessions, the gain of lands, and the increase of the favor of man can deceive us into thinking that we are something because of what we own or who we are.
Thirdly, he set the table for a pity party:
Psalms 73:13-14 “Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.”
When we are afllicted and trials come our way, we often forget that nothing you will experience has escaped God’s notice – it had to be approved by Him before it was allowed to come your way. God apporved Job’s affliction; why would it be any different with us?
He ordains all for a purpose. Once we set our eyes, our hearts and our feet to go the way He desires, only then will we begin to understand. Asaph finally turned his eyes and his mind and his heart began to follow.
Psalms 73:17 “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”
When we can separate our eyes and set them on who we are in Christ, the Hell we missed and the gift of eternity in Heaven; the fog will begin to lift and clarity will come once again to our minds.
When our eyes are focused on self, we miss the better portion of what God is trying to teach us; what He is trying to grow in us or even chasten us for having gone the wrong way. I have to remind myself when the enemy would shoot darts of self pity, that my God said he would NEVER leave me nor forsake me.
Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
God has shown me that He chastens me because He loves me.
Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
It is easy to get caught focusing on all that comes our way – especially when it seems to wash over us like wave after wave; seemingly never ending. It is then we must get alone with God to refocus and reconnect with where our eyes should be instead trying to reason out our circumstances.
Colossians 3:2 “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
All of us have had to deal with our affections being grabbed by worldly, earthly things. It is what we do when we we realize it that matters most.
Today, look up and thank God for the wonderful gift of eternal life in Christ. Let it permeate your thoughts throughout your day and see if it doesn’t change things…