One of the biggest challenges to faith – and to living lives of justice
and love each day – is the “attraction” of evil. In a world in which we
prioritize efficiency, personal benefit, and effectiveness, it can
sometimes feel like faith doesn’t “work”. We would love to be able to
just “plug in” prayers when we need solutions or provision and know
that the answers would pop out, as if from a vending machine. But
that’s not what happens.
Then, we may look around us at people who seem to have no faith
and no concern for the consequences of their actions on others.
They may have more money than they could ever use. They may
seem to be popular and comfortable and unperturbed by life’s
struggles. And then we may find ourselves questioning the value of
faith – as the Psalmist does chapter 73. When seeking justice
makes our life tougher, more complicated and more painful, it can
feel like it’s too much, and we may want to forget God’s call and
embrace selfishness and expediency.
What today’s Psalm shows is that these feelings are natural and very
common. But the Psalm also shows that, when we allow God’s
perspective to speak to us, a whole different picture emerges.
When we recognize the goodness, beauty and truth of God’s Reign,
we realize that how we live makes a difference, not just now, but for
eternity. We also see that, in this eternal perspective, wickedness is
actually very short-lived.