1 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Psalm 37:1-3 (NLT)
I am starting a new series on Psalm 37. It begins with telling us not to worry or envy the wicked people who go around in their wrongdoings. The Amplified Bible gives us a more complete explanation.
1FRET NOT yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness (that which is not upright or in right standing with God).
Psalm 37:1 (Amplified)
It says fret not. Why does God need to tell us not to be envious over the wicked people? I don’t think it is a surprise to anyone when I say many people who do not believe in Jesus and live in sin are richer and healthier than most Christians. You may be a Christian who has been faithful to God. You have been tithing, sowing, praying, reading the Bible, confessing his Word and doing what God wants you to do. However, you are still sick and poor. Yet, you can see others who do the opposite of what God wants and ended up far richer than you are. It will be easy for you to feel envious of them because they seem to be living the life that you have always wanted. You may even be tempted to follow their footsteps.
This is why God started this psalm by telling us not to worry or be envious seeing their outward prosperity. Verse 2 tells us why.
“For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.”
In other words, their prosperity doesn’t last. They will fade away. Their seemingly good life is like spring flowers. Spring flowers are not permanent. They will soon wither. It is silly for us to envy their temporary prosperity while we have eternal prosperity. We should pity them. Instead of envying them, we should do what God says in Psalm 37:3- “Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.”
The first part of 37:3 tells us to trust in the Lord and do good. What is trusting in the Lord? It means believing what God says is true even if we cannot see them in the natural or when the situation says the opposite. God tells us that Jesus died poor at the Cross, to make us rich. When we trust in him, we believe God wants us rich even if we are physically poor now. It does not matter if you don’t see money in your bank accounts or you see a mountain of debts right in front of you. When you trust in the Lord, you will say, “God says he wants me rich and that settles it. I am going to be rich and will have billions of dollars in my bank account in Jesus’ name. I will keep believing until the will of God is established in my life.” This is called trusting in the Lord.
You could be very sick right now and the doctors have told you that there is no cure for your illness. Yet you choose to believe in God when he says Jesus took all your diseases at the Cross. You will fill your mind with thoughts of joy and peace. You believe that the disease that is oppressing you now is illegal and you are determined to fight on until it is completely gone. As long as you keep believing, you can speak to the mountain, may it be the mountain of debts or sickness and it will depart from you. This is called trusting in the Lord.
When we trust in the Lord, we will do good. It is impossible for anyone to trust in the Lord and do evil. Why do people do evil? They do it because they do not believe in a loving and caring God who wants to provide for all their needs. In my testimony, I mentioned that I left my first church when the pastors started to squeeze the members for money to finance their building project. Why would those pastors sink to such despicable level of using manipulative tactics to get money from their own church members? Obviously they do not trust in their God to provide for them. As a result, they resorted to any way they can think of to get the money they need. Morality is not an issue to them.
This is why trusting in the Lord precedes doing good. If you don’t trust in the Lord, doing good will be a burden to you. Doing good is a sacrifice. Being selfish and greedy is natural for those who do not trust in the Lord. However, when you trust in the Lord, doing good becomes natural to you. In fact, you will see doing good to be a benefit rather than a sacrifice because the second part of Psalm 37:3 that says “Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.”
Trusting in the Lord and doing good will result in safety and prosperity. This means nothing can harm us or steal from us. God wants us to live safely in the land and prosper in it.
In conclusion, when you see wicked people living good lives, don’t be envious of them. Their prosperity is outward and temporary. It will fade away very soon. Instead of wasting time being envious, you should build up your faith. Trust in the Lord and do good. As long as you keep trusting in the Lord and doing good, the Lord guarantees us that we can live safely in the land and prosper in it. God himself guarantees our prosperity. Prosperity is ours for the taking. The question here is, do you trust in him?