When God Doesn’t Seem Good

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Isn’t it easy to look around and wonder why the mean girls have the cutest boyfriends? Or why the cheaters are on the honor roll? Isn’t it troubling that the athletes who are so rude and yet they get to enjoy one victory after another?

It’s so easy to get distracted. One of my favorite psalms, Psalm 73, was written by a distracted man. Asaph was confident of God’s goodness to those who are pure in heart (Psalm 73:1). Pure in heart means free of impurity, obedient to God’s ways, but it also means focused loyalty to God. Surely God is good to those who are loyal and focused on Him alone.

Asaph knew this to be true, but then he got distracted. He started noticing those near him who disobeyed to God seemed to live pretty well. He saw evil people, far from being pure in heart, didn’t seem to get sick, and they weren’t struggling like he was. In fact, they seemed to be carefree and wealthy. Asaph sings, “When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply” (Psalm  73:16).

I once heard a mother brag that her daughter wanted to be like one of the famous singing stars who’s known for a provocative dance moves. Why not admire her? She portrays the image our culture has defined as successful. While she has money and fame, her lifestyle dishonors God. If that’s the case, why does she seem more blessed than some poor people that truly love God. Asaph had a hard time understanding the seemingly contradictory principle himself.

Asaph began looking around at how good the unbelievers had it and started to wonder if obeying God was worth it. He envied those who were arrogant because they seemed to have better lives than he had. Suddenly, God didn’t seem very good anymore. This distraction almost made him fall yet Asaph regained focus before it was too late.

The Message paraphrases it this way, “No doubt about it –God is good…But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness. I was looking the other way…envying the wicked who have it made…” (Psalm  73:1-5).

How do we regain focus when we realize we too are distracted? Asaph sings that he went before God and then he understood the situation. When we start to get spiritually distracted and doubt the truths of God’s Word, there is only one place that can bring clarity –before God. Asaph went before God.

When we bring our distraction, our confusion, our doubts before God, when we compare our thoughts with His Word and talk to Him in prayer, when we share where we are with other people of God –we are able to gain perspective and not lose our footing.

We must be women who pursue a relationship with our Creator so that we know God’s perspective. How is God’s goodness being displayed? Will I choose to trust and focus on His goodness despite the opposing messages that tempt to distract me?

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