Psalm 73 records the problem of a man who goes through a real crisis in his faith. Here is someone who believed deeply that God is good to the pure in heart, but then went through a time where he began to doubt God's goodness. The result was that the whole vehicle of His faith was on the verge of slipping and sliding out of control. What went wrong? He had looked out the window with envy at the guy driving the Mercedes in the next lane. He had begun to compare his circumstances with those who could not care less whether God existed or not but who were hell bent on having a good time down no matter how many people got hurt in the process.
I don't think he actually wanted to become like them but the care-free life they seemed to enjoy compared to the hammering that he was experiencing made him question whether keeping his life pure was really worth it. Had he wasted his time because nothing seemed to be working out for him? He suddenly found himself deeply questioning whether in fact God was good to those who kept their hearts pure. Was it really worth the effort?
We too can be tempted, to believe that Christian faith seems hardly worth it and that our trusting in Christ is really in vain, when we look sideways at the world and the 'good life' it promises. Like our friend in the psalms we need to look up again to the One who reveals both the sad end of those who live 'carelessly' and the glorious end of those whose treasure is God.
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.