Faith on Trial: Drawing Near to God
… a synopsis of the writing of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
In Psalm 73, the Psalmist laments at the prosperity of the wicked, and undertakes a journey of self-examination and reflection. Having completed a review of the past, and as he faces the future, he arrives at a resolution: “It is good for me to draw near to God.”
Living in this world sometimes makes us focus intently on our need for certain things, and we are led to believe that our happiness depends upon favorable events and circumstances. It was because of this line of thinking that the Psalmist fell into a state of misery. He witnessed the prosperity of the ungodly while he was suffering, and this brought him to the depths of self-pity and despair. Upon further thought, he eventually realized that he had not been keeping close to God.
The moment we move away from God, we lose our bearings like a ship at sea that loses sight of the North Star, or when its navigation aids fail.
At the sanctuary of God, the Psalmist became enlightened and he discovered that there is only one thing that matters: our relationship to God. “If I am near to God, it does not matter what happens to me; if I am far from God, nothing can eventually be right.” ¹ This was his profound conclusion.
The Psalmist contemplates upon God’s character: His goodness, majesty and glory are among its many facets. If we can comprehend the character of God, there would be nothing in the world we would desire more than to be in His presence. Amidst all the instability and uncertainty in this world, it is wonderful to know that in Christ, we can enter into the presence of the “Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” ²
Being near to God is also the place of safety and deliverance. He holds every blessing that we need, He is the Giver of “every good and perfect gift”. He has put them all in Christ, and He has given Christ to us. When we draw close to God, we know our sins are forgiven. We are aware of His love, and He gives us a joy that the world cannot give nor take away.
Finally, the Psalmist wants to draw near to God in order that he may declare all of God’s wondrous works. Experiencing God’s character, His salvation, peace and joy eventually leads us to praise and glorify God, and to testify about Him to others and to the world.
“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 thy works. “ Psalm 73:28
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1965), Faith on Trial, Grand Rapids, Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, pp. 116-124
1 Martyn Lloyd Jones, Faith on Trial, p. 117
2 James 2:17, King James Version