Psalms 37:1-2 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.”
Why would we fret because of evildoers? There may be many reasons, but the one reason that is coming to my mind this morning is that if the evil they are doing is against us or against those we love, we might have a tendency to worry and to be concerned about how they may harm us or others we love and care about. But we are not to fret, but we are to commit our lives to the Lord and trust him to work it all out for good.
So, then I contemplated what kind of evil these evildoers might be doing against us, or against those we love. And I thought of Jesus and of his enemies and the evil that they did against him. His enemies were his own people, and even some from his own family, and they were the rulers in the Temple of God and those who taught the Scriptures, so they were also those who were professing to be of his own faith.
And they accused him falsely of all kinds of things, and they harassed him because he healed people on the Sabbath and because his disciples plucked heads of grain on the Sabbath. But Jesus’ response back to them was that he was Lord of the Sabbath and that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. And this was while they were still under the Old Covenant, but we are under the New Covenant. So, our Sabbath-Rest is Jesus Christ and it is our salvation from sin (Hebrews 4; Mark 2:27-28).
But they also hated Jesus because he claimed to be God, and because he preached against sin, and he called the people to repentance, and he called them to obedience to himself as Lord. And they hated him, too, because he did not bow to their man-made rules, and because he did not follow their customs, and because he called them out for their hypocrisy and for their secret sins, and because he told his disciples not to imitate them.
And we will be hated, too, if we do not succumb to man-made rules and to human customs, and if we speak the truth of the gospel, and if we call sin what it is, and if we call people to repentance and to walks of obedience to Jesus Christ. And we will be attacked and called names and be falsely accused of what we did not do or say when we follow Jesus Christ and his ways, and when our lives are committed to him to serve him faithfully.
Psalms 37:3-7 ESV
“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.
“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!”
So, what are we to do when evildoers do evil against us in order to harm us? We are to put our trust in the Lord, and we are to do the good that he said we are to do. And we are to remain faithful to the call of God on our lives, and we are to keep speaking the truth of the gospel, no matter how much we are opposed. And we are to delight ourselves in the Lord, and then our desires will be his desires, and he will give us the desires of our hearts.
We are to commit our ways (our paths, the paths God has us on) to the Lord and we are to trust him, that he will act on our behalf and according to his will and purpose for our lives. For, if he has called us, and if we are following him in his ways, he will provide all that we need to endure unjust suffering and to not grow weary and to not lose heart. And he will fulfill his purpose in and through our lives for his glory and praise and for the salvation of souls.
So, we are not to fret over those who do evil, who carry out evil devices, who lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, and slander others, and who do evil to those who are doing good, and who do willful and deliberate harm to others. We are not to fret over those who call evil good and good evil, or who manipulate naïve minds into believing their lies. But we are to be still before the Lord and wait patiently for the Lord to act.
But we are also to pray for the truth to be revealed, and we are to keep speaking the truth, and we are to keep exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness and keep warning the people against false teaching and false teachers. And we are to keep sharing the truth of the gospel in hopes that many will be turned from darkness to the light and from Satan to God so that they will receive forgiveness of sins and be sanctified by faith in Christ.
Psalms 37:8-9 ESV
“Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.”
Now, there is such a thing as righteous anger, and the Bible teaches that in our anger we are not to sin. Anger is an emotion given to us by God to let us know that something is wrong and to motivate us to do what is right. But what we do with that anger and how we respond to it can either be good or it can be bad. So, when we feel anger in our emotions, we need to pray that we will have the correct response to that emotion.
I believe that first of all we need to examine our own hearts to see why we are getting angry. Some people easily get angry because of selfishness because things didn’t go their way, and because people didn’t do what they wanted their way when they wanted it. Or they get angry because of hatred, bitterness, jealously, resentment, and pride which are stored up inside their hearts. And so they quickly fly off the handle.
Sometimes people get angry easily because of secret sins they are holding on to and so they will get angry with those who are living righteously and who are teaching the truth of the gospel, and this may be one of the motivating factors behind why evildoers do the evil that they do to others. So, we need to examine our hearts and make certain that our anger does not stem from sins stored up in our hearts or from selfish motives.
If we are angry over sin and over the evil in this world we should let that anger motivate us to pray and to trust in the Lord, and we should not lose control or try to get even with others who are doing evil against us, or against those we love. But the Lord may lead us to some positive action such as addressing such wrongs and exposing them for what they are so that others are not led into traps and to their harm.
And then we rest in the Lord and we wait for him to act and we trust he has all things under his control and under his command and that he is working all things for good for those of us who love (obey) him and who are called according to his purpose. And we keep praying, and we keep trusting, and we keep letting go of any anger which rises and which might take over, and we keep giving it all over to the Lord, and we keep resting in him.
He Lifted Our Burdens
An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7
People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.
Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.
Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.
We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.
Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.
He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.