“Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency” (Psalm 73:13).
The writer of this psalm, Asaph, was confused by his sufferings, especially when he observed the easy life of the wicked around him. He nearly slipped into a pit of unbelief, ready to accuse God of forsaking him, of being unconcerned. In fact, he almost quit the battle completely.
This godly man must have thought, “I’ve been living right and enduring hardships all this time for nothing. All my diligence has been in vain. I’ve been faithful to praise Him and study His Word and these plagues and sorrows make no sense. What’s the use of going on?”
Beloved, when calamities fall and trials come upon you, you must be very careful. When you are grieving, you need to guard your heart against slipping.
If you are not personally in Asaph’s condition, you may know someone who is. Perhaps a relative or a friend or a church member is having great trouble. When you observe that righteous person’s suffering, you ask, “Why, God? How could You allow this to happen?”
Asaph went to the temple and prayed. Likewise, when your time of grief or suffering comes, you must go to your secret place of prayer. Get alone with God and cry out your heart to Him. He will understand.
The Holy Spirit spoke to Asaph, “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction” (verse 18). Asaph realized, “I’m not the one who is slipping, it’s the wicked who are slipping straight into destruction.”
When Asaph began to see the whole picture, he rejoiced: “God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever” (verse 26). He could say, “Yes, my strength is failing and I’m enduring a great battle but I’m not alone in my struggles. I have a loving Father in heaven who watches over me!”