Monday Goodness Devotional
“Things have been so hard for so long. I’m just asking God for some goodness lately.”
These were the honest cries of a friend. And it’s tempting to rush in and spiritualize those prayers with, “God is the good you need!” But the truth is, I’ve said the same thing when it seems like bad news and bad luck take turns using me as a punching bag. Wanting a break from the crushing stress of survival mode, we want a glimpse of God’s sustaining grace in tangible ways. We don’t demand it but we cry out for it in our frailty.
In Psalm 73, the psalmist Asaph looks with envy at the prosperity of the wicked. Their lives seem easy, untroubled, pain-free, and flourishing. For Asaph, he wonders if keeping a clean heart and living faithfully for God is purposeless, with trouble and heartache as the result.
But Asaph makes a turn when he “went into the sanctuary of God” (v 17) and saw the true end of the wicked – set in slippery places, ruined, destroyed, swept away, despised (vv 18-20). Recognizing his temptation toward envy and bitterness, he realizes living for God is never in vain. Asaph reminds himself of God’s character and His promises to the faithful.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
In Psalm 73, we see:
- God’s presence is constant and near.
- His counsel and guidance are always available.
- A place with Him in glory is a guarantee for His children.
- Our earthly home doesn’t hold a candle to the presence and provision of God Himself.
- We are weak, but God is strong and enough. I love the reference “my portion” here; it signifies our inheritance and that He alone knows, provides, and satisfies our needs.
- We may feel like we’re perishing, but that is not the end for the faithful.
- God alone is our shelter from danger.
- These realities should spur us on to tell others of God’s works.
God’s nearness is the good we need. Sometimes we ask for a visible sign for it, and I don’t believe He chides us in our weakness. In fact, He understands it (Psalm 103:13-14) and welcomes that we come to Him for His sustaining grace and a glimpse of His goodness.
𝐓𝐨 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝 – Read all of Psalm 73.
𝐓𝐨 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫 – Think of a time when God provided a visible or physical reminder of His nearness when you were weary. Write it down or share it below.
For me? I can think of several examples, but here are two: 1) When I was in ICU ten years ago, I had a nurse named Blessing. It made me smile. 2) When I returned to college after a prolonged illness, I had a really hard time transitioning back to “normal.” A dear friend left a note of encouragement on my dorm room bed. Just the #GodWink I needed.