His Nearness is My Good

In Psalm 73, the Psalm writer begins by saying:

“Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

The Psalm writer goes on to say how he became disheartened and disillusioned as he looked at the lives of the wicked and how they seemed to do whatever they pleased without consequence.

He began to question whether his own choices and sacrifice and suffering for the Lord were worth it at all.

Have you ever become so frustrated at what was happening in the world around you, feeling either helpless to know what to do or so sure that you had the right answers and infuriated that others couldn’t see them too?

Oftentimes, even very subtly, our hearts can begin to question the goodness of God or we can question the state of the world, or our part in it. We can question a great deal of things that can begin to challenge and even weaken our confidence in who God is and who He created us to be.

In verse 16, Psalm 73 continues:

“When I tried to understand it all, I just couldn’t. It was too puzzling–too much of a riddle to me. 

Another translation says, “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me.”

See, God created us in His image and likeness to be powerful and creative thinkers, feelers, and choosers. He gave us the gift of free will to make up our own mind and He artfully crafted each of us to have a unique and needed perspective.

But on our own, our perspective will always be limited and incomplete. Outside of Him, trying to solve problems and mysteries and find answers to big questions will be frustrating, painful and puzzling. It will exhaust us, become heavy, and will begin to discolor our view of the world, giving room for bitterness, anger, judgement, and jealousy to creep in.

But when we choose to submit our perspective into His and enter His presence, everything changes.

Psalm 73 continues in verse 17 and says:

But then one day I went into the sanctuary of God, and in the light of glory, my distorted perspective vanished. Then I understood…”

Continuing in verses 21-25:

“When I saw all of this, what turmoil filled my heart, piercing my opinions with your truth. I was so stupid. I was senseless and ignorant, acting like a brute beast before you, Lord. Yet, in spite of all this, you comfort me by your counsel; you draw me closer to you. You lead me with your secret wisdom. And following you brings me into your brightness and glory! Whom have I in heaven but you? You’re all I want! No one on earth means as much to me as you.”

When we enter into His presence, there is clarity of an eternal perspective. Unfortunately, this does not always mean that we will see the answer to our temporary problem or question right away. But in the light of His greater truth and in the comfort of His counsel, what once was an insurmountable weight before us begins to fall away in the presence of a God who is stronger, better, and bigger than we will ever know. 

Submission to His presence supersedes our understanding and gives us access to perfect peace that will guard our heart and mind.

If you ever find yourself becoming frustrated or angry at the state of the world, hopeless in your own circumstances, or wearied by the weight of your own experience, I invite you to look up.

To cast every care before Him for He greatly cares for you. Choose to submit your opinions, perspectives, challenges, questions, and even your disappointments to His presence. Enter into His sanctuary, allow your heart and mind to be challenged and changed by His perfect vantage point.

The Word says that His thoughts are higher than ours; His ways are far above them. Instead of choosing a limited view that leads to confusion, frustration, anger, and pain, cling to His presence and find that in Him is all that you will ever need.

Finally, Psalm 73 closes with verse 28 in saying:

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.”

Katie Stansfield is the co-host of the new podcast, Life Exchange as well as staff pastor and administrator at Giving Light in Elizabethville, PA.

With a practical, down-to-earth style, Katie believes in tearing down personal and societal barriers so that we can model and lead successful and healthy lives, ministries, and cultures.



Life Exchange Season 02

Life Exchange Podcast

Episode 72: Finding Rhythms of Life

We’re back! After a (more than) slight incident with a skateboard and a whole lot of physical therapy, our full team is back in the swing of things and ready to answer your questions. In this episode, we talk through creating healthy rhythms in life and one listener asks how to handle a fear of ever progressing technology without getting left behind.

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