Sometimes with the state of affairs of life we can start to wonder what’s going. We get hit with financial issues, relationship issues, work issues, medical issues, family issues, marriage issues, even political issues, and it all is overwhelming. If that is not enough, we get slammed with the reality that some who are prospering are living a life contrary to the Bible. It just does not seem fair, and we may wonder why it is that evil seems to flourish, and why it is that God’s way seems to be burdensome.
Now there are a lot of points we can discuss on this matter, but I would like to take this moment with you and talk a little about a Bible passage I go to when I start to feel like evil is winning. The passage is found in the Bible book of Psalms, chapter 37 (go get your Bible and open up to that passage…no worries, I will wait…Psalms is almost in the middle or your Bible and sequentially numbered!…ok, got it?). The Psalm was obviously written by someone tormented by the prosperity of the faithless…
Psalms 37:1-2 NIV Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
We are told right off not to fret when it seems like those who do wrong win, excel, or thrive. The word fret means to burn with anger or to get all heated and extremely irritated. We are not to let ourselves get so upset we pop off, blow up, or seethe with hate. That is not easy to do when something touches our hot buttons. But regardless, God tells us not to so He will help us and we know it is possible to control our emotions. The best way to stop us from going down the path of fret is to pray.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 17 pray continually;
Philippians 4:6-7 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So we are to pray for the people and the situation and for us to keep our focus on God and how He wants us to live. As well, the Psalm gives us another challenge, read verse 3:
Psalms 37:3 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
We are to place our confidence (remember last week’s e-mail) in God, that He has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11), and knows what He doing, and is still in control. Prayer is a good way to show our confidence in Him. Well the verse goes on to say “do good”. Doing the good works God created us to do (see Ephesians 2:8-10) is to help people in need, care for the sick, feed the hungry, tell people about Jesus, fulfill God’s Biblical purposes, and serve those around us. Maybe if we were busy about doing God’s good works we would not have time to fret about how bad things are…just a thought. As well, we are strive to be faithful in living our life God’s way, growing in our knowledge of Him, building godly character, and practicing using our gifts and abilities as we seek to fulfill God’s unique call on our lives. It seems that fretting or worrying about such things is not a good use of our time (see Matthew 6:25-34).
Now the Psalm continues on and I encourage you to read the rest of it and ask the Lord to speak to you. I know as I read it the Lord encouraged and challenged me that though the climate of this world will continue to favor evil and the faithless…God is still in control. I hope that encourages you.
Grace and Peace,
PS: Last Sunday in the services I mentioned that this summer has been yet another struggle with our cash flow and I asked you to pray not only that God would provide, but that we would have wisdom in knowing what the Lord is telling us through this. Well first off, God did provide a good offering last Sunday through you, so thank you for praying and thank you to those who were able to give because it really helps. Now we are not out of the woods yet so keep praying. We are also continuing to gather data as we study the trends of our finances and make the decision as God directs…so please pray.