In Part I, we noticed the writer of Psalm 73’s honesty about a personal struggle with envy. We also noticed that his was a particular flavor of envy, the kind that gets really bothered when arrogant, ungodly people appear to have life by the tail. He couldn’t understand why they seemed to be thriving while he was barely making it.
So, he took the matter up with God.
You may be able to relate to his frustration. If so, notice with me a couple more things that helped the psalmist get his feet back on firm footing after nearly going over the edge with envy.
The incomparably tight grip of God. In spite of his getting caught up with envying bad people who appeared to be living the dream, the psalmist realized that God had remained loyal to him, even during his senseless rant. He said to the Lord, “Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.” (v. 23)
It’s as if he had been hanging onto a ledge for all he was worth, trying not to fall…white knuckles, fingers slipping…and then he realized that he was held securely by God the whole time.
Like the psalmist, we are all subject to these moments of questioning and comparing the quality of our lives to others. But thankfully, even when we have gotten way too close to this ledge, there is no lapse in God’s loyal love for us. Ever. Our grip may loosen but His remains firm. Jesus expressed loyalty to His followers this way:
“…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20
If you have a relationship with God, you are the enviable one. When the psalmist finally regained clarity, he realized that he already had everything he could possibly desire. How foolish it was for him to look at people who were dis-connected from God and want their life. Their situation wasn’t enviable; it was pitiable. He says,
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
To know God through His Son, Jesus Christ, is the greatest of blessings. If you have tasted of that relationship, you know how good it is. Not that life for a believer is always easy, but doing life with God is definitely easier than doing life without Him. Nothing in this world can satisfy the human soul like He does.
The gift of eternal life through Jesus (John 3:16-17) is more than just a promise of life after death. It means vitality and fullness of life now. It means that even when you feel like you have nothing left in this world, in Christ, you still have everything that matters.
So long, envy. I want my life back.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.
“The glory of God is a person fully alive.” -Irenaeus