Turning Struggles Into Strength | Psalm 73

Jul 13, 2022

by Karen Harmon

As I lay in bed with a pounding headache and excruciating body pain, tears rolled down my face out of frustration that I continue to deal with autoimmune issues that flare occasionally. It’s easy for that frustration to quickly turn into unhappiness, comparison, and jealousy, as I watch others do things that I just don’t have the capacity to do. The verse that has been permanently affixed on my heart and mind the last several years of physical and mental battles is Psalms 73:26: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” 

The author of this Psalm is Asaph; he was appointed by David as a worship leader in the temple. Earlier in Psalm 73, we see Asaph expressing unhappiness as those around him prosper despite their wickedness. He says in verses 3-4, “they have no struggles, their bodies are healthy and strong. They are not plagued by human ills.” Like Asaph, it’s easy in our weakest and most vulnerable moments to become disillusioned and unhappy. How many times do we look around and compare ourselves to what everyone else is doing or what everyone else has? I have found that the way to combat these feelings is to abide in the presence of our Beautiful Savior. When I stop focusing on what others have and instead remember Who has me, the posture of my heart and my mind shifts. 

Despite the discontentment that Asaph is feeling, we see the worshipper in him arise in verses 23-24, and he remembers the nature and character of God: “You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory.” God’s presence restores hope and fosters gratitude. Turning worship music on, opening my Bible, praying, journaling…all remind me of Who He is even in the midst of my circumstances. 

Friend, regardless of what you may be going through…a mental struggle, a financial setback, a negative physical diagnosis, broken relationships, a fractured marriage, a prodigal child…our Savior, our Father, our Friend will never leave us or forsake us. Everything and everyone around us may fail, but He never will. Turn to Him. Trust Him. Surrender to Him. He IS the strength of our heart; He IS our portion. He is the One who will help us live fearless, boldly marching forward in the fullness and beauty of the life He has gifted to us. And we can confidently live what Asaph says at the end of Psalms 73: “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge.”

Karen Harmon is a wife, homeschool mom, physical therapist, business owner, speaker, and writer who also serves her local church on the worship team, as a leader over several small groups, and in the media department doing on-camera work and voice overs. She owns Function360 which provides specialized physical rehabilitation and wellness consultations for a variety of patients; has spoken at conferences and seminars discussing anything from leadership to motherhood to ministry; and occasionally writes at www.karenharmon360.com. With transparency and humor, Karen loves to encourage and empower women to passionately pursue Jesus and their God-given dreams and callings through all their many roles.



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