January 18, 2010

Psalm for a Slippery Faith

Psalm 73

As for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
Psalm 73:2


Doubt is guaranteed. We will doubt.

Psalm 73 begins by affirming a core teaching: “Surely God is good to Israel.” Then doubt comes. The psalmist is slipping. He’s trying to keep faith, but he’s tottering on a precipice. He has a bad case of vertigo, that dizziness some people feel when they look down from a high place.

The psalmist thought God was good to Israel, but something he saw made his head start spinning. We’ve seen things like that too. The baseball team with the most respectable players doesn’t necessarily win the World Series. The quarterback with the best moral character doesn’t always start on the college team. Oddly, it seems that arrogant, ungodly people often prosper and have no troubles or suffering. But then people who love God and try to serve him seem to get nowhere and face all kinds of trouble and suffering. The writer of this psalm saw this. So do we.

But the psalmist came to see that his perspective didn’t look far enough into the future. The end of the wicked is ruin, and while God doesn’t promise to make his people wealthier or healthier, he does promise peace for the heart and restoration for the soul.

In God’s presence and care, we have everything we truly need.

Lord, we believe. Help us in our unbelief. Please also help our friends who struggle to believe. Lord, be the strength of all our hearts forever. Through Jesus, Amen

About the author — Kevin Adams

Dr. Kevin Adams has served as a church planter/pastor in the Sacramento, California, area since 1991. He and his wife, Gerry, began Granite Springs Church in Lincoln, and this congregation has helped to nourish several other church plants. Kevin also serves as a director of the Sierra Leadership Network, a training program for new church leaders.

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