Psalm 73:3 — For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked (NASB).
Most believers, at one time or another, have felt like the psalmist in the above verse. It’s very difficult to watch the wicked prosper while you suffer, especially if you are being faithful to God’s purpose. When the unrighteous seem to have it made, righteousness can become burdensome. And when righteousness becomes burdensome, unrighteousness often becomes more appealing.
This was definitely a point of contention for the psalmist because he voiced his displeasure again in verse 12: “Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased in wealth” (NASB). I can definitely relate to his frustration.
When Heidi and I were first married, we served at a particular church as the full-time youth pastors. Heidi helped me, and she also substituted at the local schools when needed. Money wasn’t growing on trees, but we were doing fine for a newlywed couple in the ministry. (It also helped that we didn’t have kids yet.)
After we had been on staff for about five or six months, the church fell on hard times. To make a long story short, our pay was cut 25%. (It was either take a cut or be let go.) Needless to say, I did not take it very well. I kept my composure in public, but inside I was boiling. I could not understand why God would allow something like that to happen to one of His own.
It didn’t make sense, and it made even less sense when the Lead Pastor left and our pay wasn’t increased. I remember yelling at God, “Why God?! How could you let this happen to us? Didn’t You call us to this place? Now You’re going to make us poor! How is it that this person lives like the devil and doesn’t have to worry about anything?” Maybe you can understand where I was coming from.
After I was done pitching a fit, God gently reminded me that He had called us there. He then proceeded to open up doors. Heidi was able to substitute full-time for twelve straight weeks, as two different teachers went on maternity leave. She was given a full-time teacher’s salary over that span, and we were actually doing better than we were before my pay cut! Be encouraged and remain faithful today. Trust God; He knows right where you are and what you need.
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