This is the message of Psalm 37.
When you look around and see wicked people prosper, when wrong seems to be winning over right, don’t fret.
But what does fret mean?
The English word fret means to “be constantly or visibly worried or anxious.” The Hebrew word for fret goes even further. It means “to burn…be angry, be incensed, grow indignant…Points to the fire or heat of the anger just after it has been ignited.” (NIV Key Word Study Bible)
So when it seems that evil is winning, don’t fret.
Don’t live in a state of anxiety or anger.
This is impossible to do on our own.
We live in a culture of outrage. Political parties, cable news channels, and special interest groups cultivate indignation as they point fingers to “the other side”. Anger flashes across every social media platform.
It is easy to fret.
What can we do?
Trust in the LORD.
Trust is the antidote to fretting, to burning anger or paralyzing anxiety when you see others do wrong.
David explains the ultimate end for those who carry out wicked schemes. They are like grass that withers. God knows their day is coming, when they will be cut off and without hope.
God’s justice will prevail.
We can trust Him.
So when it seems that evil is winning, don’t fret. Trust.
Trust the Lord and do good. (v. 3a)
Delight in the LORD.
Instead of finding delight in seeing the wicked get what’s coming to them, find delight in the LORD. Focus on Him. Find your satisfaction in Him alone. The more you delight in Him, the more you will desire what He desires. God’s desires will become the desires of your heart.
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. (v. 4)
Commit your way to the LORD.
When those who do wrong seem to prosper, don’t be envious. Commit to doing things God’s way anyway. His blessings are more precious than worldly wealth.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (v. 5-6)
Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous. (v. 16-17)
Wait patiently for the LORD.
When evil men are successful, don’t fret. Don’t shake with worry or burn with anger. Anger will only lead you to evil, to becoming like the very ones you are fretting about.
Be still. Wait. Don’t take things into your own hands. God will prevail.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes. (v. 7)
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret – it leads only to evil. (v. 8)
Exchange your worry for God’s blessing.
You have an inheritance as one who belongs to God.
Wait for the LORD and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are cut off, you will see it. (v. 34)
You have protection when you live God’s way.
If the LORD delights in a man’s way,
he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD uphold him with his hand. (v. 23-24)
For the LORD loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
They will be protected forever (v. 28)
You have a future of eternal blessing.
Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
there is a future for the man of peace. (v. 37)
You have help in difficult times.
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him. (v. 39-40)
So don’t fret when those who do wrong succeed.
Exchange outrage for contentment.
Trust God to punish evil and to provide for those who follow Him.
Trust in the LORD.
Delight yourself in Him.
Commit your way to Him.
Be still and wait for Him.
You can trust Him.
Father, I choose to trust You today. When I see others do wrong or hear others become outraged, help me to be still. Help me to reject anger and choose to wait for you. I am committed to living your way. You are my great reward. I want to find my satisfaction in You. Thank you for your help and protection. In Jesus’ name, Amen.