For some reason, it is very easy to focus on someone else, especially when something good happens to them. My life never seems to be as good as someone else’s. When I hear of something good happening to someone else, it becomes painfully obvious to me that nothing like that has ever happened to me, or at least, it seems like it never has. It is so easy to forget the blessings in our lives and look with envy on the blessings of others. And the problem is magnified when we see people who do not deserve those blessings getting away with their evil ways. I mean truly bad, evil people. Here I am, doing my best to be faithful to God and resisting temptation right and left and I can never seem to get ahead. In fact, I am barely able to keep myself afloat. It’s just not fair! From the standpoint of church work and life, doesn’t it just gall you to see people believe and teach false doctrine and still grow churches so fast it makes the head spin? Why does God allow such people, even in the church, to get away with things like that? Do you ever feel like the psalmist who said, “I will say to God my rock, ‘Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?'” (Psalm 42:9)?
Whew!! That last paragraph needs a chill pill! That is what happens when we start focusing on ourselves. Aren’t you glad that the Bible is so full of answers? I know I am. It would be a lot harder to write encouraging words if I had to depend on my own wisdom to answer questions like this. In Psalm 37:1-3 David writes, “Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good.” In other words, don’t worry about other people. You just do what God wants you to do. It may seem like evil people are getting away with sin and are prospering in life, but they are not! Now, the point here is not to realize that God will judge those people in the end and gleefully rub our hands together in anticipation of Judgment Day so they will get their comeuppance. The point is, God has told you what He expects of you. Don’t worry about other people!
A word of caution is in order, however. Another temptation we face is sometimes overwhelming. It is the temptation to take the admonitions Do not fret because of evildoers and Do not judge so that you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1) to the extreme. Some people are not the least bit discouraged about the evil in the world. They just want to live their lives and let others live theirs. Do you remember that David said our responsibility is “Trust in the Lord and do good”? Well, part of “doing good” is telling others about what God expects them to do. There seems to be no end to the number of people who tell us that we should leave well enough alone; to not be judgmental. And yet, the Bible plainly tells (commands) us to preach the Gospel to every creature and that is going to involve telling people that they are living in sin and if they do not repent and obey the commands of the Lord concerning salvation, they are going to be lost in hell for eternity. Never should that be done with glee! However, it must be done if we are to obey the command, “Trust in the Lord and do good.”
A word of encouragement? Yes, I think there is a word that will do. The next time you feel discouraged by the unfairness of life (as it appears to you), the next time you are tempted to think evil has triumphed over good, remember these words: The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:15-18).
I hope you have a wonderful day. I pray that God will richly bless you and encourage you. If I may borrow words from the apostle Paul, I would like to close with this word from me to you: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19). Please know that God loves you and so do I.