Battling Discouragement With Truth (Psalm 73:25-26)
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. —Psalm 73:25-26
This Psalm is for the discouraged and doubters. It is for those who are frustrated when immoral people get their way, when justice is not served, and when the needy are overlooked.
Throughout the Psalm, the writer, Asaph, seems to wonder, “what is the use of trying to do what is right when evil always seems to prevail?”:
“For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (v. 3)
“All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.” (v. 13)
Have you ever wondered the same and then needed to talk some sense to yourself? That is what Asaph does! Midway through the Psalm, he essentially calls himself an idiot for thinking such things:
“I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.” (v. 22)
Then, in verses 25-26, he talks truth to himself. When we need an answer to our own discouragement, we can remember the truths that Asaph expounds in Psalm 73:25-26 and use them as a ready arsenal for battle.
Perspective On Our Position
First, we need the proper perspective on our position in this life.
“Whom have I in heaven but you?” (v. 25)
We are not on a weak losing team in this game of life. God is on the believer’s side. He is here, with us now, ruling from heaven, and He is for us. Believers can claim “I have God” and so any discouraging thought pales in comparison. And taking that perspective even farther, when this life plays out, fellowship with God will be the final destination for believers.
Insight On Our Motives
Next, we can evaluate what motivates us now.
“And on earth I desire no one besides You.” (v. 25)
So many of our problems stem from wrong desires—we want things that will never satisfy our souls. We can skim through life without even realizing the drive that motivates our decisions and desires. But God made us with a predisposition to yearn for Him:
“Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory; whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:6-7)
God calls us to find our satisfaction in him. And when we desire God, we find that the very act of desiring Him is His means to bring us lasting joy. So “on earth” let us evaluate our desires, setting aside petty thrills so that we can focus on our only lasting treasure: God himself.
Security In The Right Places
Last, we can choose to trust God for our future. Our body will one day give out. Our hearts will stop beating. Just as God’s sustaining gift of life is an awesome thing, the “failing” of a human heart is a terrible and terrifying thing. I can attest that it is unsettling to the core of your being to watch a loved one lay lifeless where moments earlier they were warm and alive.
But the loss of this life pales in comparison to the ‘portion’ or inheritance waiting for the believer (verse 26). The last exhale in this world is followed by the real and strong presence of God himself. Remembering these truths should give us confidence to face any discouragement.
Are you frustrated or grieved about an injustice in your life? What truths have you gleaned from this Psalm about how to consider such things?
Take some time to identify the root desires that motivate you. Do your desires align with Psalm 73? Do your daily endeavors reflect your love for God?
Are you trusting in your wealth or future inheritance? Or do you experience anxiety about your financial future? What truths can you speak to yourself about the security of your future from Psalm 73?