How are we to live in peace with all of these things going on around us? I read Psalm 37:1-11 and found great encouragement in it.
1. Fret not yourself because of evil doers. v.1
It is so easy to get wrought up about what is happening in our society. Yes, it is troubling, but we are not to dwell on it in our minds, turning it over and over in our heads. This only tends toward anxiety.
2. Be not envious toward wrong-doers v.1
It's easy to be envious because they always seem to get what they want while we often get shoved off to the side and marginalized.
3. For they will wither quickly like the grass and face like the green herb v.2
Fix your perspective. They will soon be gone. Maybe not in our life time, but in the bigger scheme of things, they will not last.
4. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.v. 3
Do what you know is right and good in the eyes of the Lord. Be faithful in doing good. When all around you are being unfaithful in various areas of their lives...it is important as Christians that we are faithful.
5. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.v4
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, our desires align with His desires and He will gives us the desires of our hearts.
6. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.v.5
He wil do His will, therefore commit your way to Him.
7. Rest in the Lord and wait paitiently for Him. v. 7
God's time table is not my time table. He is working His plan quietly in the background while all of this mayhem is taking place in our society. I need to rest in Him and be patient while He works His plan.
8. Fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way. V.7
Don't go around wringing your hands because evil doers prosper. Their time is coming. God is in control.
9. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. v. 8
Righteous anger is fine, but I think this is talking about sinful anger because in the next part of the verse it talks about fretting again and says it only leads to evil doing. What might our anger cause us to do? It has caused me to say things that are not very nice or necessary about those who are in leadership.
10. The humble will inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. v.11
Does this mean that we will ultimately come out on top in this world? No. Because many of us will die before the wicked fade away. But we have heaven to look forward to where the wicked will not dwell and continue their reign of terror.
11. Here is the perspective of the we must maintian in order to not fall into dispair.
“The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.”
Psalms 37:12-15, 17, 20 KJV
12. This is the perspective of the righteous we must maintain:
“A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.”
Psalms 37:16, 18-19, 23-26, 29, 35-36 KJV