Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. – Psalm 37:1-2
Sometimes it seems that the evil within us and around us overtakes what is good and true and right. Evil, whether subtle or viciously blatant – that comes from our own words, attitudes and actions or from the words, attitudes and actions of others towards us – destroys relationships, destroys trust, destroys peace. Fret and worry can overtake us.
Sometimes it seems that those who do wrong – those who lie, manipulate, bully, cheat and push their ways on others – are the ones who are getting all the good stuff in life. It seems that these wrongdoers receive a greater share of the wealth, the better job, the special recognition. When wrongdoers prosper more than those who are people of integrity and honor, people who are hard-working and humble, our hope in justice and fair play is greatly diminished. We want what others have. Jealousy rises. We start to wonder if it makes any real difference at all whether we do things according to God’s righteous ways or not. Envy can overtake us.
Yet, our God tells us: Do not fret. Do not be envious. But this is not the “Hakuna Matata – No Worries” kind of directive heard in The Lion King. This directive comes from our Sovereign Lord, the Lion of Judah who has triumphed (Revelation 5:5). Our Lord tells us not to fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong because He is in control – even when, according to our experiences and feelings, everything seems out of control and the bad guys are winning. Be still. Our Lord is always in control. Our Lord can always be trusted.
It is in trusting God as our “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), instead of letting our fret and fear rule us, that our hearts and minds will be guarded by God’s transcending peace (Philippians 4:7) whenever we are confronted with the evil words, attitudes and actions of other people. It is in trusting God’s unfailing love for us that all of our fret and fear will be removed as God’s “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). It is in trusting that God has our backs – and our fronts and our sides, and our present and our future – in His eternal, protective care, that we will have the full eternal assurance that “no weapon forged against [us] will prevail” (Isaiah 54:17).
It is in trusting God as the Provider of everything we truly need, for now and all eternity, that we will be fully released from all our envy towards anyone and anything. It is in trusting that our God has lavished us as His children with His great love (1 John 3:1), that all our envy of other relationships will be crushed. It is in trusting that in Jesus we have received full forgiveness and are now viewed by God as “holy in His sight, without blemish and free of accusation” (Colossians 1:22), that all our envy of anyone else’s life or looks, position or power will be obliterated. It is in trusting that our God “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3), that we will be set completely free from the deceptive envy of all earthly, temporal and material wealth.
Do not fret. Do not be envious. The Lord is our Prince of Peace and our Eternal Provider. Our Lord is always in control. Our Lord can always be trusted.