Chest with a light shining out of it

Frank walked into my kindergarten classroom, eyes full of wonder and mouth wide open. He put his book bag on the desk, looked me straight in the eyes, and exclaimed, “I’m rich! I’m rich!” Out of his pocket came his greatest treasure: a one-dollar bill! Can you picture the other kindergartners staring at Frank’s treasure while their own pockets were empty?

In Psalm 73, Asaph, the worship leader of Israel, looked at the pockets of the wicked and felt depressed. He saw pockets full of health, wealth, and power—and the wicked seemed not to have a care in the world. They wore pride as a necklace; violence and arrogance adorned their palace. They used the ropes of oppression, manipulation, corruption, and exploitation to attain economic expansion. But as the choir director searched deep within his own pockets, he found nothing.

Asaph had spent years serving the Lord. He ministered through music, tuned his harp daily, led the people in praise, and stood before ensembles to direct their voices in a symphony of sounds and uplifting lyrics. And he found his pockets full—full of sadness and discouragement, envy and bitterness, despair and self-pity. Groaning in his bed at night while time marched on, Asaph said, I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain(Psalm 73:14 NLT).

We’ve all had similar nights, when doubt and confusion cloud our vision. Those who practice evil seem to prosper; the tyranny of the wicked in many nations is glamorized, and injustice parades itself in a variety of fashionable styles. Like Asaph, you and I know moments when we question God’s justice and wonder if living a godly life really matters. When life seems to go so well for those who reject God and arrogantly pursue wickedness and mischievousness, we often wonder, “Why bother?”

That was Asaph’s evaluation of his life until he stepped into the sanctuary of God. Asaph’s vision was corrected during an encounter with God’s presence, his revealed Word, and his character. The music leader began to marvel at the faithfulness of God’s justice, the holiness of his goodness, and the eternal perspective of his actions. In the sanctuary, Asaph realized that the reign of the wicked has an end, and their final stop is utter destruction.

With this transformed vision, Asaph made a new confession: I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever (Psalm 73:22–26).

Like Asaph, we too can nurture a false view of our lives when we think that the prosperity of unbelievers will last. Discouragement, depression, and bitterness can consume us if we gaze only at their “happiness,” their “health,” and their “wealth.” We can become discontented if we fail to see the irrelevance of anything that doesn’t reflect and serve eternal purposes. Empty-pocketed we came into the world, and empty-pocketed we will leave. Like Asaph, we easily forget about the glory that awaits the faithful whenever we fix our eyes wrongly on the shining gold around the necks of the deceitful.

But Asaph’s vision was transformed, and we who have been delivered from the penalty of sin and received eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ can also discover (or rediscover) our eternal treasures.

With that renewed vision, you and I look into our pockets and find —

  • An eternally secure relationship with God
    Despite our foolishness, God does not abandon us. We still belong to him. The Creator of the universe holds us with his right hand. We are his treasure.
  • A true intimacy with the source of all wisdom
    God’s sure and constant presence with us means he can always be our guide. Our pockets contain unlimited free tickets to sessions with the Wonderful Counselor who breathed out the Scriptures. We have endless treasures.
  • A glorious future
    With his renewed perspective, Asaph found that he had the faithfulness of God’s justice. Future vindication is coming. Honor will be the lot of the faithful. For us believers, our pockets are full of upcoming glory. One day, we will walk on streets of gold and be clothed with heavenly righteousness. We will dwell in a Holy City that needs no sun or moon because the Lamb of God will be its light. And if we persevere in godliness, one day we will receive rewards in a kingdom abounding with justice and peace. We have glorious treasures.
  • The greatest treasure
    Asaph noted that his muscles may lose tone and his bones become brittle. His spirit may become weak. However, God is the rock of his heart. Even when our natural courage and strength falter, there is One who will strengthen us. For Asaph, God is his portion forever. Our greatest inheritance and treasure is the One above.

With these treasures in your pockets, you can declare in amazement, like Frank, “I’m rich! I’m rich!”—or, even better, like Asaph: “He is mine forever!”

I choose to say, Open my eyes to see the great eternal treasures that are mine in Jesus Christ! Amen!

About the Contributors

Mirlenda Noelliste

Mirlenda Noëlliste

Mirlenda Noëlliste (ThM, 2019), a native of Haiti, is currently pursuing a PhD in New Testament studies at DTS. She also earned a PhD in leadership from Barry University, where she teaches educational research, ethics, and leadership as an adjunct professor. For the past two decades, Noëlliste has served the Christian community through Bible exposition, publication, and evangelism.