Have you ever felt the frustration of giving everything you have to something, only to feel like you have a 10-ton anchor strapped to you, keeping you from getting ahead ...
while at the same time watching someone else race to the finish line without even trying very hard?
We've all been there.
And the frustration is compounded when we see someone race to the finish line while cheating at the game of life!
Life is often not fair and often leads us feeling discouraged.
This week in our Good Morning Girls' study, we discover that we're not alone in this discouragement and frustration.
In Psalm 73, the writer (who could have been Asaph or one of the writers in the school of Asaph) describes a time in his life when he was frustrated by the unfairness of life.
He saw that:
- They didn't have a painful death.
- They were strong and healthy.
- They had an easy life.
- They were arrogant and got away with it.
- They seemed to get away with injustice, too.
- They were rich.
- They were rude and abrasive.
They basically lived perverse and ungodly lives and still had it easy!
It just seemed so unfair, because here the writer is living a godly life and doing all of the things that please God and doesn't have it nearly as easy as these ungodly people do.
And he dares to say what a lot of us think:
"Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?" (Ps. 73:13, NLT).
If we're all honest, we will admit that we've thought this a time or two in life.
"Really, God? Because I read my Bible, pray, go to church and love my neighbor and that person over there has broken 11 of your 10 Commandments and look at them!"
But then this happens: "Until I went into the sanctuary of God;then I understood their end" (Ps. 73:17)
Whenever we're discouraged, all we need to do is look to God; open His Word; go to Him in prayer and suddenly our perspective changes.
The writer of Psalm 73 was looking at the ungodly people around him with an earthly perspective.
His concept of success was defined by this world and all that could be obtained in this lifetime. But when he went entered God's presence, his eyes were opened to see another definition of success.
10 War Room Verses for When You Feel Discouraged
Here's a definition of success that goes beyond this lifetime, that is defined by Almighty God
He says, "But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had almost lipped. For I was envious at the boastful; I saw the prosperity of the wicked" (Ps. 73:2-3).
Suddenly, success in this life looked one-dimensional, flimsy, plastic, fake. Because once this life is over and we're put in the ground, our success rots with our earthly temple.
God isn't impressed by:
- Whether we live on the affluent side of town.
- Have the newest iPhone.
- Drive a Lexus.
- Live in a big home.
- Wear the latest fashion.
- Have our kids enrolled in an Ivy League school.
- Sit in a corner office.
- Have letters after our name.
These things do not impress Him at all. What impresses Him is if our name is written in the book of life and if we're taking people with us when we go.
What impresses Him is our willingness to sacrifice all we have and all we are to live in a way that is pleasing to Him.
What impresses Him is our complete preoccupation with His glory to the degree that we are not at all concerned for our own reputation.
What impresses Him is our willingness to allow Him to so fill us with His love that we are able to give love and grace to those around us—even when they hurt and offend us.
Just so the world around us feels the love of Jesus, sees His glory shining through us, and sees us living lives that are radically different from anything they've ever seen before.
So that they are intrigued enough to ask us, "What is different about you?"
That is what impresses God.
And that is what this writer saw when He entered the sanctuary.
He said, "I was a brute and did not understand; I was as a beast before You" (Ps. 73:22).
He's literally saying, "I entered God's presence, and suddenly, I felt like a complete idiot! Duh! Success in this life isn't what it's all about! It's about success on heavenly terms. It's about being rich by an eternal economy!"
"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Ps. 73:25-26).
So, when you feel discouraged and defeated, frustrated and envious of other people's success that you wish you could enjoy, do as the writer of Psalm 73 did.
Enter God's presence; open your Bible, go to prayer and allow God to give you a heavenly perspective. You can start with these 10 Bible verses for when you feel discouraged.
1. Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."
2. 2 Corinthians 12:9
"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
3. Psalm 32:8
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye on you."
4. Philippians 4:13
"I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me."
5. Isaiah 26:3
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
6. James 1:5
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and without criticism, and it will be given to him."
7. Galatians 6:9
"And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not give up."
8. Philippians 4:6-7
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
9. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
"Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it."
10. Psalm 121:1
"I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come?"
Get these verses on prayer cards with space to write your prayers to the Lord underneath!
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together, they live with their two active boys in the country, where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an associate degree in practical theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of "A Little R & R," where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You may follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
This article originally appeared at rosilindjukic.com.
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