The people who wrote the Bible learnt the hard way how not to ‘slip up’ in life.
While David wrote many of the Psalms in the Bible, he didn’t write all of them. Another author whose songs are included in the book of Psalms was Asaph.
Asaph was a member of the tribe of Levi, and he was one of the three musicians appointed by king David to be in charge of the singing in the temple (1 Chronicles 6:39.) Asaph also had the distinction of performing at the dedication of Solomon’s temple (2 Chronicles 5:12.) Asaph wrote twelve of the psalms found in the book of Psalms, including Psalm 73.
Many people I know have gone through a crisis in their faith in some way or another. As a result, some of them left the church or stopped believing in God altogether. For others, their crisis ended up strengthening their faith. It’s during those times of crisis in which you may learn how to discover how not to slip up in life.
In Psalm 73, Asaph reveals that he had a crisis in faith. Let’s hear what he said about it:
Truly God is good to Israel,
to those whose hearts are pure.
2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
3 For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness (Psalm 73:1–3.)
Learning How Not to Slip Up In Life
Asaph’s spiritual crisis came about because he saw how those who did evil seemed to prosper while God’s children seemed to receive no reward. Asaph even writes that he “envied the proud.”
If we’re honest with ourselves, we can identify with Asaph’s dilemma.
We look after our diets and health, yet we end up with terrible diseases, while others who don’t take care seem to be healthier.
We try to be loving and kind toward our spouse, prayerfully seeking to do everything in our power to build up the relationship. And all the while, we see other people who don’t follow Biblical principles and who seem to have better relationships than ours.
We try to be honest in our financial dealings and faithful in our giving to God, and we see other people who are shady in their dealings and who are selfish and greedy be much more successful financially. It’s easy to give up on God and on ourselves. It’s at these times that we need to know how not to slip up in life.
Life’s Unfairness Will Wear You Down – If You Let It
If we let it, this essential unfairness of life will eventually wear us down. Finally we need to reconcile our inability to understand how and why things happen, with our faith in God, if we are to preserve it in the face of this tension.
How do we do this when it all seems to make no sense and when the unfairness seems to continue? Here is Asaph’s conclusion, in which he found consolation:
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever (vv.25–26.)
What can we make of this? Does Asaph have all the answers? Does he understand why those who are faithful to God seem to suffer and the wicked seem to prosper? No, he still doesn’t understand.
God is All You Have – And All You Need
But there is something that Asaph understands that is much more important than these things and which puts his whole life into perspective. It is that he knows that God is all he has. Ultimately, he can afford to lose everything, but he knows that he cannot afford to lose his God.
While he might not understand why things are as they are in this world, he knows that God is in heaven and that God is not against him but for him. Asaph knows that as long as these things are true, God will make all things right in the end.
And so, Asaph will hang on to his faith. He will not slip up in life. He will continue to trust in God.
Asaph lived a thousand years before Jesus came. Now, when you consider Jesus’ victorious death and resurrection to overcome evil and bring righteousness into the world, Asaph’s answer to life’s dilemmas rings even more true.
There is no more satisfying answer to a crisis of faith today. Jesus reigns, and he is on your side. Holding on to that is the secret to how to not slip up in life.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question. Sign up to his free online course called Becoming a Follower of Jesus to learn about Jesus and His message.