Is It Worth It?
I think I would have to say one of my favorite psalms is Psalm 73. It speaks to the Christian experience.
In it, the psalmist Asaph is pouring out his misery. He's discontented because the world is influencing him, and he's envious of what other people seem to have. They don't walk with God and yet they seem so blessed. They're healthy and wealthy, and they don't seem to be struggling with the same problems that God's people do.
So, Asaph is wondering Is it worth it to walk with God? He's questioning. Can't we all relate to that? I think we can.
If we get our eyes off ourselves, our problems, our wants and lacks, and off of what everyone else seems to have, we realize how blessed we really are just for having him.
In the middle of the psalm, he looks at God, gets his eyes off the world and himself, and he focuses upward. As he's focusing on God, his thinking changes. His perspective shifts to become eternal. He starts to realize what the reality is.
It may look like these other people who despise God have it all, but they don't. They really have nothing, and what they seem to have won't last. Even though by worldly standard, Asaph—a believer—doesn't have a lot, he realizes he's the one with everything because he has God.
He's humbled, and he pours out his heart to the Lord. He sees his own grumbling heart, and he repents. In my favorite verse, he says, Whom have I heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
When he says Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you, don't we all want to be there? We want to be able to say Nothing in this life is as good as that taste of belonging to the Lord.
Once we've tasted it, we realize that nothing else ever compares. Asaph understood that perspective. It went from his head into his heart because he looked at God. There's such a lesson in that for all of us. If we get our eyes off ourselves, our problems, our wants and lacks, and off of what everyone else seems to have, we realize how blessed we really are just for having him.
A goal for all of us is to be able to say Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you.
Emotions can seem as unpredictable as the wind—apparently beyond your control. But we don’t have to live at the mercy of our emotions.
In the Psalms we find how to be real with God and simultaneously reverent—how he wants us to relate to him as his children.
The Psalms help us express our pain to God, knowing that he hears our cries.
The Psalms are in the Bible to give a us a full range of ways to approach God. They're not just for those who are happy and they're not just for those who are in pain. They cover the whole range of emotions.