Psalm 73:21-26 (NLT)
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant� I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. 25 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.
This is a psalm of Asaph that tells us of his battle with a strong temptation to envy people who were prideful and wicked; for they had much prosperity among them. The psalmist explains above how he eventually overcame the temptation that was discouraging him.
John Yates, in "An Attitude of Gratitude," writes -- I read once that the devil was having a yard sale, and all of his tools were marked with different prices. They were a fiendish lot. There was hatred, jealously, deceit, lust, pride�all at expensive prices. But over to the side of the yard on display was a tool more obviously worn than any of the other tools. It was also the most costly. The tool was labeled, DISCOURAGEMENT. When questioned, the devil said, �It�s more useful to me than any other tool. When I can�t bring down my victims with any of the rest of these tools, I use discouragement because so few people realize that it belongs to me.�
Asaph was fighting discouragement. He looked and saw people who were prosperous. They didn�t seem to face the problems most people faced. They were very prideful in their attitude. Asaph said they wore pride like a jeweled necklace. In their pride they spoke evil and sought to crush others with their superiority. Their pride even led them to boast against God saying, �What does God know?�
Asaph realized what these wicked people had could be taken from them at any moment. He says in verses 18-20, �Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.�
In actuality what did these wicked people have � NOTHING. For everything they had could be taken from them in a blink of an eye. They had forsaken God - so there would be no one to comfort them; there would be no one to counsel them; there would be no one to give them hope.
Asaph knew having God as the strength of his heart was more important than pride, arrogance or wealth. Asaph had God who would hold his hand through any difficulty he faced.
Is God the strength of your heart? I pray you would put all your faith and trust in the Lord that no matter what you face God will be there with you. I pray when you become discouraged you will remember God is there holding your hand, walking with you and encouraging you along the way.