January 25
A great soul battle
For reading & meditation: Psalms 69:1-12
"I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold." (v.2)

Having shared with us the conviction that God is good, the psalmist now proceeds to tell us what caused him to move away from that belief so that his soul became filled with such desolating doubt: "But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked" (Psa. 73:2-3). Here begins what Spurgeon described as "a great soul battle, a spiritual marathon, a hard and well-fought fight in which the half-defeated became in the end wholly victorious". The psalmist seems bothered by the apparent contradiction between what he had been taught in the Scriptures - that God is good to those who are pure in heart - and his experience in life. He was envious, he says, of the arrogant and deeply upset over the fact that the wicked appeared to be more prosperous than the godly. He had been told that when you were righteous, then God would take care of you and prosper you. Obviously things had not been going too well for the psalmist and when he compared his situation with that of the ungodly who appeared to be so prosperous, he came close to giving up his faith. Am I talking to someone who is in a similar situation at this moment? Is your faith so badly shaken by what you see around you that you are tempted to give up? Then this is the word of the Lord to you today: hold on. It is a dark tunnel you find yourself in at this moment, but God will bring you through. He never fails. Never.

Father, thank You for speaking to me today. Help me not to form my conclusions from what I see around - the immediate - but from what I see above, in You, the Ultimate. I wait in quiet confidence for Your word to come to pass. Amen.

For further study:
1 Kings 19Psalms 31:10
1. What point did Elijah come to?
2. How did God deal with him?