In Psalm 73, Asaph clearly sees trouble and evil all around him, and this has burdened his heart. So much so that he considers his faithfulness to God as “vanity” in light of the prosperity of the wicked. He describes his heart status as being grieved, embittered, senseless, ignorant, and beastly which would have spilled out into behaviors.  He almost becomes envious of the wicked until he goes to God. I love the pivotal point in verse 16: “But when I thought how to understand this (the evil and apparent prosperity), it seemed to me a wearisome task until I went into the sanctuary (Presence) of God; then I discerned their end (the truth).”  Trouble, pain, emotions, and worry are very wearisome and self-destructive, and humans cannot comprehend reality or any truth without the Spirit of the Lord.  When Asaph stops thinking and leaning on his own understanding and enters into the Presence of God to listen, God provides discernment about the wicked, about Asaph’s own misdirected thoughts, about his true standing with God, and God’s faithful goodness.  What does Asaph learn? He learns that God always holds him personally by the right hand, guides him with counsel, and is the strength of his heart and portion forever.

Isaiah 26:7
The path of the righteous is smooth and level; God, the just One, You make a clear path for them.

What an incredible promise! On days when it feels like life is hurling problems at us, this becomes a foundation for us to find our footing.  God didn’t promise problem-free living or that we wouldn’t feel threatened on every side, but He does promise to never leave us and to clear a path for us to walk right smack through the middle of them; a smooth (easy), level (controlled), and clear (visible) path.  I bet it’s even a path to victory as we walk with Him!

What is troubling you, friend? Go into the Lord’s Presence and seek His truth and reality in your pain or area of injustice. What does God reveal about others, yourself, and Himself that will set you free?

Father, thank You for this amazing promise. Examine my heart and reveal any areas where I am not walking with You. Clear a path before me according to Your word, according to Your will, and keep me close to You. Lead me and guide me in Your right paths, in the right direction, for Your name’s sake.

Gary Hawkins

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