When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God. (Ps. 73:17)

THE GREAT RECESSION KILLED MY JOB. I was working at a small Bible college that operated on a shoestring budget. Then the shoestring broke. Since I was the main breadwinner for my family, the next several months were nerve-wracking as I tried to make ends meet. I even developed an embarrassing medical condition: stress-induced hair loss! What got me through that trying time were Sunday church services. Church attendance changed from a routine into a lifeline. Once a week the choir, the pastor, and my fellow congregation members helped me to refocus on God and wait patiently until He worked out his plan for my family and me.

Asaph, the author of Psalm 73, had a similar experience. He looked at the healthy, wealthy, godless celebrities around him. Then he looked at the hardships he was facing even though he’d been faithful to God. It was tempting to envy the wicked and complain, but Asaph held his tongue and headed to God’s temple instead. That’s where he found the fresh perspective that he needed—God’s perspective. Asaph saw that the short-term success of the wicked was just a prelude to ruin. Faithfulness to God is real success and it yields an eternal reward.

What circumstances has caused you to compare yourself unfavorably to others? How have you been tempted to envy the wicked? Keep your eyes on God.

Ask God to show you His perspective on your circumstances.

Jerome Van Kuiken grew up in the Philippines as the child of missionaries. He teaches Bible, theology, and apologetics at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and serves in the children’s ministry at his local church.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.