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When things get hard, overwhelming and disorienting, many of us who studied through the entire Bible with Pastor Chuck Smith hear his familiar deep voice in our heads reminding us of the need to fall back on things we understand.  That’s right, when we face things that we simply don’t understand, it’s important develop the habit of trusting in the God who transcends our lack of info. Here is one of the times Pastor Chuck taught this through Psalm 73:

In Psalm seventy-three we do begin what is known as the third book of the psalms. The psalmist begins with an affirmation, a basic foundational belief. Our faith is based on certain foundational truths. One of the foundational truths upon which our whole faith is built is the fact that God is good. That is an extremely important foundation stone because there are many times in our lives when we are going to be facing circumstances in which we do not know the full ramifications. During periods of trial and testing when I do not yet know the outcome, Satan is so prone to challenge this goodness of God in my own heart. If God is good, then why did God allow this to happen to me? It’s usually in the midst of the situation where we don’t yet know the final outcome. I’m in this period of limbo and I don’t know how it is going to work out but it looks like it’s disaster. Then Satan comes along and he makes this challenge of God’s goodness to my heart. It’s always in those areas where I can’t understand that the goodness of God is challenged.

It’s important that you have certain basic foundations upon which your faith is built so that when you come to the areas that you don’t understand you can fall back on what you do understand. I understand. I know that God is good. I may not be able to relate that to the present circumstances because I don’t understand this trial that I’m going through.

Psalm 73 (NKJV) A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.For there are no pangs in their death, But their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish. They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue walks through the earth. Therefore his people return here, And waters of a full cup are drained by them. And they say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?” Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches. Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me— Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awakes, So, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image. Thus my heart was grieved, And I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, That I may declare all Your works.

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