Few of us can survive continuous earthly prosperity without suffering adverse effects. There is something deep within the incurably sick human heart, even in the redeemed heart, that deceives us into thinking, when all is well horizontally, that we’re actually in control of our lives and that we’ll never struggle again.
Job’s friends were so quick to give advice to Job. Everything they said made good theological and some logical sense. But they spoke with such vim partially because they were doing well. Their lives were good because they weren’t really as sinful as Job. As they spoke from a position of perceived superiority because of their own goodness, they completely misrepresented the truth, and in the end, they were in big trouble with God. Prosperity skewed their ability to see straight, whether it was Job’s problems or their own.
David thought the same thing. Psalm 30:6 (ESV) – As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” Then his life came crashing down. We’re not exactly sure what the historical situation was that surrounded the writing of this psalm, our psalm for prayer this week. But we can all be sure that what David did, we’ve done too.
So, if you find yourself in a time of prosperity, it would be really good for you to pray through this psalm this week. It is the humble cry of a heart that knows what it is to fall, to know it’s desperate need for a Savior. Prosperity comes and goes. God doesn’t. Trials come and go. God doesn’t. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning (v. 5). That’s because God is always there, the Gospel is always true, and the Spirit is always at work. Your circumstances may not change for the better as David’s did, but your attitude can. Your trials may not wane as David’s did, but your joy can increase in the midst of them. Your troubles may continue, but so can your peace.
Keep your eyes on Jesus and place your hope in him. Remember the Gospel and that your identity is “in Christ.” Remember every spiritual blessing you have in him and feast on the joy that is set before you. Flee youthful lusts, especially the temptation to think that life is good simply because you may be healthy, wealthy and in a time of ease. For the believer, life is good because God is good. And he is good whether or not things are good on the horizontal. That way, when your horizontal goes cockeyed, your soul doesn’t.