|Photo Credit: Anthony Kelly|
Psalm 73 begins with Asaph lamenting about how the wicked are getting away with their evil deeds and feeling like his pursuit of righteousness is in vain. The wicked are prospering while Asaph, who has diligently tried to do the right thing, feels like he is being punished.
(Can you relate to Asaph? I know I can!)
But something happens to Asaph, and this psalm ends with him affirming his trust in God and vowing to remain faithful to the Lord. Asaph sees God as His refuge and is ready to tell others about Him.
How is it possible to go from having a pity party to praising God?
till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
verses 16-17 (emphasis added)
The mental shift occurred within Asaph when he "entered the sanctuary of God". Some may think of the sanctuary only as an area of the church. While this is true, we can find the sanctuary of God any time we draw near to God.
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, the veil was torn and praise the Lord, I can come to the throne of God anytime, anywhere. This means I can enter the sanctuary of God in my car while singing a praise song, in the bathroom at work praying, and on my bed in the middle of the night meditating on Scripture.
And when I do -- when my focus shifts from me, my perspective and my feelings to the Sovereign Lord -- I am reminded that God's way are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. I can forget about the injustices that have been bothering me and remember that God is just and His judgment comes in His way and according to His perfect timing. In the sanctuary of God, my heart can echo Asaph's words: "it is good to be near God" (verse 28a).
Being in the Lord's presence changes us. It gives us the attitude adjustment we need when our hearts are burdened and emotions are overwhelming us. But we have to decide to stop and give God our full attention so that He can renew our hearts and minds.