What raw honesty from Asaph, writer of this psalm! Have you ever felt bitter and frustrated? It is wonderful to read the transparent cry from Asaph’s heart in this piece of Scripture. It beautifully depicts the security Asaph feels as a child of God, even in the midst of his struggle.
We may feel that it is wrong to express bad feelings. Yet, Asaph is showing us through this psalm that we have permission to share our rough days, our negative feelings, pour our struggles out to the Lord, and know He is still there as our dad, that we belong to Him, and He does not let us go.
Knowing His truth is what sets us free. This also includes the truth about ourselves. Brutal honesty about how we feel does not faze God. He knows it already, and voicing it, like Asaph, welcomes God into our pain, frustration, and bitterness.
Asaph shares earlier in the psalm about feeling envious of arrogant people, as they seemed to have a cosy life, without health issues or money problems. He was struggling big time with his health on a daily basis. He was feeling as if he’d followed God’s ways in vain, because he was struggling and the ungodly weren’t. And he just didn’t get it. It was only when he spent time with the Lord, venting his feelings and sharing his struggles, that he saw things through a heavenly lens and got a new perspective. ‘When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply, till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny’ (Psalm 73:16-17, NIV).
Going through tough times, we may struggle like Asaph to understand and may get frustrated, especially as we battle to keep our head above water. Seeing our situation from a heavenly perspective brings renewed hope and understanding. It comes from being honest with the Lord about how we’re struggling and what we’re feeling. God wants to be invited into our struggles, and us taking time with Him to pour out our hearts draws us close to Him, where He shows us our situation from a new angle.
The psalm ends on a precious note, as Asaph declares, ‘But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds’ (Psalm 73:28, NIV)
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