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July 30, 1993

Why Bother? (Part One)

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Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my foot had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man. . . . Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure. PSALM 73:1-5, 13
Have you ever looked around and wondered, What’s the use in being righteous? Every way you turn, wicked people are getting ahead. As Asaph writes in this passage, “They have no struggles, their bodies are healthy and strong, they are free from the burdens common to man, they are not plagued by human ills” (Psalm 73:4-5). They’re “always carefree, they increase in wealth” (v. 12).
In the meantime, you’re working hard to follow God and obey His commands. You’re focused, you’re disciplined, and you honestly desire to please Jesus. Yet unlike the wicked, who always seem to be winning, you never seem to gain very much. You often feel that you’re spinning your wheels, dealing with the same problems and burdens over and over again, while the people who have no regard for God seem to be living life on Easy Street.
This inequity is strikingly obvious in the business world. Many times the most successful people also are the most arrogant and corrupt. Their businesses churn out profits as they ruthlessly destroy their competitors. They turn on the charm when they’re called upon to appear on television news shows, yet they treat their employees like dirt. And while they’re jetting around the world, sailing yachts, eating caviar, and showing off their Rolex watches, you continue to struggle just to get by.
It gets frustrating. It gets tiring. It gets old. It makes you throw up your hands and wonder, Why bother?
There is an answer, of course. But it involves taking your eyes off other people and fixing them solidly on the God Who is good to “those who are pure in heart” (v. 1).

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