Seems Like the Bad Guys Are Winning
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This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.(NIV)
One of the great spiritual questions many people wrestle with is the issue of why good people sometimes suffer, while so many bad people prosper. It is not a new question. Our verses today are from a psalm written by a man named Asaph. He was one of King David's chief musicians, who wrote this psalm after struggling with this very issue!
Earlier in the psalm, Asaph tells us he found himself envying the prosperity of those he identifies as "the wicked." As he looks at what appears to be the lack of fairness in the world, he becomes discouraged about trying to live a righteous life.
His conclusion about those who thumb their noses at God is that "the evil conceits of their minds know no limits." And yet, he observes, "always carefree, they always increase in wealth." Consequently, he reaches the conclusion of today's text: "Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure."
What does Asaph do to get his head back on straight? He steps back and looks at the "bigger" picture. He goes to "church." There he remembers some of the good things that we can't see in the visible world: God is always with us. God guides us and gives us strength. When our life ends, God takes us into his presence. As a result of getting his perspective straight, Asaph can say to God, "In this life, I don't need anything more than to be with you!"
When you try to live in a way that is pleasing to God, it is not in vain. If it seems as though the "bad guys" are always winning, remember that we have a very limited perspective. As did Asaph, we need to get ourselves into a place where we can get some perspective. It can change our discouragement to joy! We can go from victims to victors!
Heavenly Father, help us remember that living in a way that pleases you is never in vain. Help us have your perspective on life. Thank you for always being with us and for loving us. Amen.
Adapted from: A Story of God And All Of Us: Reflections – Based on The Epic TV Miniseries THE BIBLE © 2013 by Lightworkers Media. Published by Hachette Book Group, Inc., Used by permission.
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