The Bible instructs us to examine ourselves . . . and that is good instruction! Why? Because if we aren’t careful, we can fool ourselves into thinking we are something that we are not. Far better to examine ourselves and see exactly what is going on, just like Asaph in the following verse:

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel.

(Psalm 73:22-24)

Now that is a serious self-examination, wouldn’t you agree? After taking an honest look inside his heart, Asaph compared himself with a “brute beast” before the face of God. Clearly, Asaph had not succumbed to thinking of himself more highly than he ought (Romans 12:3)! And notice how the comparison he made is rooted in a heart that was beating for something smaller than God. Asaph’s heart was “grieved,” which means his focus was down and in, rather than up and out. Like a brute beast who is always looking down toward the ground, Asaph was consumed with his circumstances rather than his God.

Yet even in his self-described bestial condition, Asaph knew that God was with Him every step of the way. He knew it was God who was upholding him and leading him through the troubled waters of life. Asaph declared his cosmic confidence in the Lord God Omnipotent; Asaph was as confident in God’s presence with him as he was confident in God’s counsel for him.

But notice something very important in the verse above: Asaph declared that “I am always with you!” How could that be possible for someone who admitted that he was in the condition of a brute beast—a creature of instinct (2 Peter 2:12) and not of faith? The answer is simple: it was God who was keeping them together.

Remember, it is not your faithfulness to God that keeps you connected to Him; rather, it is His faithfulness to you. Regardless of your current condition, you can echo Asaph and say, “I am always with you,” because God is the One who never moves. He holds tightly to your hand when you are spiritually sound and when your spirit is embittered Him. You should have no fear in examining your heart each day and admitting to God exactly what you are going through. God is not only for you, He is with you and will never walk away from you . . . even when you are “senseless and ignorant”!

Wherever this finds you today, rest assured that Almighty God loves you; and, as John wrote, “Perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). So lift your eyes toward heaven and focus your mind and heart on Jesus! Don’t fear the results of your self-examination, because regardless of what you discover—even if you see a faithless brute beast staring back at you from the mirror of self-reflection—Jesus is always with you: holding you, guiding you, counseling you, and loving you all the way into glory. How amazing is His grace!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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