My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.Psalm 73:26(NASB)
Asaph who wrote this psalm, was one of David's worship leaders in the tabernacle choir. He was a skilled singer and a poet, and although a man of faith who acknowledged that God is good to Israel and to all who are pure of heart, Asaph became discouraged and found that his faith wavered when he constantly saw how wicked men seemed to prosper and get away with all sorts of evil practices.
Life seemed so unfair to this man, and his faith in God was sorely tried when he saw how the ungodly prospered and increased in riches and popularity, despite their oppressive ways, crooked schemes, arrogant attitudes, and foul mouths. Asaph knew that he had led a decent, honest, and respectable life by comparison with these ungodly swaggards, and life seemed so cruel and unfair to this man of faith.
Why does God allow bad things happen to godly people? This was the complaint that was in his mind, just as this is the question that people continue to ask in this day and age. Why do evil men appear to remain untouched despite their wicked ways, scoffing tongues, and evil practices? This was the question that was on Asaph's heart, and which caused his faith in God to falter.
But it was only when he sought God in His holy sanctuary and began to reflect on the unchangeable nature of his faithful God, that Asaph started to understand that his question was founded on his own flawed understanding during a fleeting snap-shot of time, and not secured to the unshakable promises of God that stand fast for ever and ever.
Despite the apparent anomaly that the wicked seemed to prosper while the godly were unjustly persecuted, Asaph came to an understanding that these evil men were on the slippery slope to eternal destruction while by God's grace, he was on the straight path to eternal joy and bliss. In a moment of time these wicked men would all be swept always into eternal separation from the Lord, while Asaph's own future was secured to the Rock of our salvation.
Now as then, the plans, privileges, prosperity, and pride of the wicked will one day evaporate like the morning mist, while those that trust in the Lord will be held steady by the strong arm of our God, guided by His counsel, protected by His grace, and at last received into glory. When he began to reflect on the wider picture and catch hold of God's eternal perspective Asaph was able to proclaim, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
We live in a day and age when to all intents and purposes, it appears that the wicked are prospering abundantly, while the prayers of the godly seem to be rising to a steel sky and a closed heaven. Nevertheless, we have our Lord's assurance that the sufferings of this present life cannot be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us, for we have a blessed hope that is anchored in Christ and an inheritance that is secured for us in heaven.
Let us draw near to God, catching hold of His eternal perspective and trusting in His unfailing love with all of our hearts. Let us not allow the circumstances that surround us and the apparent successes of the ungodly to cause us to doubt the goodness of God. But rather, let us declare the wonderful works of Him Who has saved us by grace through faith in Christ, adopted us into His own family, and covered us in Christ's royal robe of righteousness.
Heavenly Father, thank You for this reminder in the Psalms, that wicked men are on a slippery slope to destruction, unless they turn from their wicked ways and trust in Christ for salvation. Thank You, Lord, for Your never-failing goodness and grace toward me. May I draw ever closer to You and declare the wonderful works of God in the land of the living, knowing that my times are in Your hands and my future is secured for me in heaven. In Jesus' name, AMEN.