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Joy When We Fail


On his album American Prodigal, Christian musician David Crowder sings:

“Troubles of this world, will wither up and die
That river of tears made by the lonely, someday will be dry
There’s gonna be, a great rejoicing
There’s gonna be, a great rejoicing.”

Despite troubles and failure, joy in the Lord is always the right choice!

Asaph began Psalm 73 by announcing his topic: God’s goodness (v. 1). The psalmist, however, confesses that he had lost his grip on this truth. His feet “had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold” (v. 2). How? He had become envious. The wicked looked like they were prospering, and God seemed to be doing nothing (vv. 3–12). Why pursue righteousness if it only brings problems (vv. 13–14)?

Asaph’s faith may have faltered, but he didn’t speak out and lead others astray. Worship helped him realize his error and revive his faith (vv. 15–17). His error was to take the troubling phenomena he saw as the whole truth. Ultimately, God will make sure that the wicked receive justice (vv. 18–20, 27). God has promised it and His nature is perfectly just. With a wrong view of God, the psalmist failed. He was ignorant and bitter. He misinterpreted what he saw. He acted like a “brute beast” rather than a believer made in God’s image (vv. 21–22).

By contrast, with a right view of God, Asaph found guidance, strength, and fulfillment through his relationship with the Lord (vv. 23–28). His song took on a new theme: “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (v. 26).

>> It is helpful to be honest about our failure . . . both with ourselves and before God. Today, consider those times in life when you have failed Him. Rather than sinking into despair, and acting like a “brutal beast”—let God turn your disappointment and fear into joy.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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