Psalm 37:1-4 ESV
Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
We are always going to have enemies, no matter who we are. Granted, there are people who are well loved and who seem to have no enemies at all, but there are probably people who secretly are jealous even of them. For, it is in the sin nature to hate, and to be jealous, to be resentful of others, and to lust after what they have and that we have not.
There are always people who are going to do evil, too. And, some (or many) of them are those who profess to be Christians, i.e. to be followers of Jesus Christ. And, we are talking here about those who make it their practice to do evil. For not one of us is righteous in our own merit. We are only saved from our sins because of God’s grace to us, not because of anything in ourselves.
And, sometimes it will seem as though those who practice evil are successful in what they do, and that nothing can stop them. And, we may pray that they would be stopped, and yet they continue on. So, we need to not be afraid of them and what they are doing, or of what they might do to us. And, we definitely should not be envious of the success of evildoers, either.
No matter what others do, we need to remain faithful to the Lord. No matter how many lies are being spread, we need to remain truth tellers. No matter what is going on in this crazy world of ours, we need to keep trusting the Lord through it all. We need to believe that he is completely sovereign over all that he created, and that he truly is working everything out for the good of us who love him, who have been called according to his purposes.
And, even if everyone around us, even those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, are going the way of the world, and even if they are following after the desires of their flesh, we are to continue to delight ourselves in the Lord. We are to continue to give him our honor, respect and obedience. And, we are to not fear their rejection, mockery or persecution. For, if our desires are his desires, he will give us what our hearts desire.
Psalm 37:5-7 ESV
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
We have to leave our lives and our reputations in the hands of God. For, we have no power and no control over what others do, or over what others will say about us, too. If we are walking with the Lord, in fellowship with him, some people are going to be opposed to us, even many Christians will be. For so many Christians in America, at least, have gone the way of the world, and they are convinced that we need to blend in with the world.
So, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ who takes the Word of God seriously, and who is following the Lord in obedience to his ways, as a matter of practice, you are not going to have a lot of people love you and want to be your friend. That is just the reality of the situation. You may even be excluded from fellowships and gatherings of believers in Jesus, or of those who profess faith in Jesus, because of your walk of faith in Jesus Christ.
So, for right now, you may not be well thought of, and many people may have the wrong impression about you, because they don’t really understand your walk of faith. But, you just have to give it over to the Lord, and trust him. He is going to work it all out for good. He has a purpose in it all. One day justice will prevail and the truth will come out. Just keep walking with the Lord. Rest in him. Wait for him to act. His Word will prevail.
Psalm 37:12-15 ESV
The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.
The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;
their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.
Jesus said that if we are truly his followers, doing what he did, saying what he said, that we will also be hated as he was hated. And, who hated him the most? It was the religious rulers in the temple of God who were Jesus’ fiercest opponents, and the ones who had him killed. So, don’t be surprised if your strongest opposition comes not from the world but from those within the gatherings of the church and from among the church’s leadership.
Those who are opposed to the ways of Jesus Christ and to the gospel of his salvation, as was taught by Jesus and his NT apostles, are not going to be just the people of this world. Many people who call themselves followers of Christ truly are opposed to the message of the cross because it demands that they die with Christ to sin and live with Christ to his righteousness. And, they prefer the cheap grace message which tells them nothing is required.
Thus, if you do take God and his Word seriously, and if you are practicing what the Word teaches there will be even Christians and church going people and even pastors and elders of churches who will plot against you, and who will do you harm by their actions and by their words against you. But, you can’t let that take you out. You can’t let that discourage you. If your conscience is clear, and you know you are following Jesus, then just keep on doing what God has called you to do, and let God take care of your enemies.
Psalm 37:27-28 ESV
Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
For the Lord loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
The scriptures do not teach that faith in Jesus Christ is merely forgiveness of sins and a free ride into heaven. The scriptures teach that faith in Jesus Christ means that we die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and that we walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God and no longer according to the passions and desires of our flesh (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).
For, Jesus didn’t save us from our sins just so we could escape hell, but he died to free us from our slavery (addiction) to sin. This doesn’t mean we will never sin again, but that sin should not be what we practice; that it should no longer have mastery over our lives. For, now we are to be slaves of God and of his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23).
But, this is not optional. The scriptures teach that if we walk according to the Spirit, then we have eternal life with God. But, if we walk (in practice) according to the flesh, and we habitually and premeditatedly sin against God, then we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God, no matter what we profess with our lips. For, we are all going to reap what we sow (Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17).
So, don’t be fooled by a cheap grace gospel message which leaves you still in bondage to sin while promising you heaven when you die.
Praise the “I AM!”
An Original Work / February 24, 2012
Jesus, my Savior, full of compassion,
Glorious in power, mighty in strength;
Gracious Redeemer, mighty deliv’rer,
My heart adores Him. Praise to His name!
Perfect salvation my Lord provided
When He died for my sins on a tree;
Crucified my sins; conquered in vict’ry,
When He arose, so I could be free!
I am so thankful for His forgiveness;
Grateful that He chose to pardon me,
Giving me new life full in His Spirit,
So I can serve Him; His servant be!
Walking in daily fellowship with Him,
Obeying Him whate’er He commands;
Forsaking my sins, living in freedom,
I will endure with Him to the end!
He gives me peace and calm reassurance
In times of sorrow, or in distress.
His grace is sure, and oh, how sufficient
To meet me in my need for sweet rest.
Oh, how I love You, Jesus, my Savior.
My heart longs for You where’er I am.
Your word is precious; speaks to my spirit;
Brings comfort, healing. Praise the “I AM!”