Ever wonder if it’s worth it?
You want to do what’s right—to please God, keep your life pure, give back to others. Yet step back and take a candid look at the way life really works. Do people of faith get any tangible reward for all their sacrifice and efforts? An honest assessment reveals that some of the best things in life fall into the laps of people who don’t give a rip about God.
The poet of Psalm 73 is struggling. Significantly. He’s tried to do what’s right—yet all it’s gotten him is a big pile of disappointment and discouragement. He’s ready to cash in. His faith feels like a fatally flawed experiment.
What do you do when you’re ready to give up?
Us people of faith are rather odd, I believe. When we want to give up on God, we often go right back . . . to God.
In a strange way, this actually makes sense. If God is the source of our problems, then God is the one who needs to fix it for us, right? It’s through the process of deeply doubting our faith that we often find the strength and courage to believe again.
As a well-known worship leader, the author of Psalm 73 knew that he’d make a real mess of things if he let loose with a public rant against God. Instead of a public rant, he tries a sincerely personal prayer—possibly a long succession of them. Though his doubts were truly raw, his conclusions eventually became exceptionally breathtaking.
As you read Psalm 73, I hope it will encourage you to work through the heart-breaking honesty of your own doubts. It’s often a necessary step toward experiencing the breath-taking joy of a stronger, deeper faith.
You might be ready to give up on God. Yet it’s possible God isn’t quite ready to give up on you.
Scripture readings for this week:
- Psalm 73: What do you do when you’re ready to give up on God?
- Psalm 74: What do we do when the unthinkable happens? (In this case, invading foreigners have destroyed God’s formerly magnificent temple.)
- Psalms 75 & 76: A simple reminder: Exactly who runs the Universe?
- Psalm 77: Finding hope in the past, Part 1: Remembering how God helped Moses.
- Psalm 78: Finding hope in the past, Part 2: Remembering how God guided David.
- Psalm 79: Begging for God to act—since everyone has pretty much made a mess of everything.