"Do not fret because of evil doers. Be not envious toward wrongdoers."
It is easy to look around and wonder why those who do not seek after the Lord seem to be doing so well.
What's the point?
I remember sitting across from one of my favorite high school students at youth camp one year when he asked that very same question. He told me that following Jesus just wasn't getting him anywhere. His partying friends who didn't know Jesus seemed like they had the good life. As he struggled to be obedient, he did not see the good in his own life. It paled in comparison and he was tired of being on the outs with those other guys.
Our hearts are deceitful. We focus on the outward life of others - their facebook, twitter, people magazine, entertainment tonight, instagram exciting life. It looks good. It looks fun. It appears to be problem free.
We compare our inner life with someones outer life. We focus on the seen rather than the unseen.
This Psalm goes on to assure us that this apparent good and success of those who don't follow God is temporary - tenuous at best.
We are told to trust in the Lord.
To dwell with Him (pitch your tent!)
To cultivate faithfulness (plant it, water it, feed it, reap a harvest!)
To delight in Him (He will give you the desires of your heart.)
Commit your ways to Him (even when it is hard)
Trust in Him and He will do it!
He will bring forth the righteousness and judgment (His job - not mine!)
We are told to rest in the Lord
To wait patiently
To cease from anger, wrath and fretting (It will only take us in the wrong direction!)
The Lord's good is coming . . .
The humble will inherit the land
The Lord sustains the righteous and they are blessed.
Verses 23 and 24 are some of my favorites.
The steps of a man are established by the Lord
and He delights in His way.
When he falls (not if, when) he will not be hurled headlong
because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
During hikes these last few weeks, I have held the hand of more than one person as they tried to get down a steep slope or cross a creek. Even if they slipped, they could not go far because I was holding their hand from a stable position. That is exactly what the Lord does for us.
Verse 39 tells me that God is my ever present strength in times of trouble.
We are told in Scripture to set our minds on the unseen rather than the seen. Our faith is in our invisible, yet very real, God.
Do not be distracted by the things around you. Focus on what the Lord wants to do in and through your life as He reaches out to those that need Him most.
Rest in your very Good God. Be assured of His great love for you. Know that He is always about your good - even when it doesn't appear so.
"Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24