Have you ever wondered why it seems that God’s people struggle and the wicked prosper? Why does it seem that when good people, trying to live right, have to contend with every difficulty that life has to throw at them? At the same time, there are those whose lifestyle goes against what Scripture has to say and, yet it seems, their lives are carefree — why is that? I think that we’ve all wondered that at times, and it should come as no surprise, because people have wondered about this for a long time. The psalmist said:
“But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride serves as their necklace; violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge with abundance; they have more than heart could wish. They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth.” (Psalm 73:2-9)
He seems to be asking, “Why am I struggling with life when I’m trying to do the right thing and this other guy is doing what he wants and things are going great for him.” Obviously, its always been this way and God’s people have always contemplated this issue throughout the ages. We need to remember, though, that the Messiah told us the path we’re on is straight and narrow. In fact, the word that’s translated as “narrow” actually means, “troublesome.” Our faith journey is, by design, going to expose us to difficulties and travail because it was never intended to appease our flesh. To the contrary, our walk will challenge us to die to our carnal nature, because flesh and blood doesn’t inherit the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever would appease our flesh and nurture our carnal nature would suppress the spirit man that needs to mature within us. God would never encourage us to do anything that would cause our carnal nature to grow stronger. So we need to remember what David said:
“Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass … for evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.” (Psalm 37:1-7, 9)
And so, today, let us encourage ourselves in the LORD, knowing that He will strengthen us to do right even when it seems that all is against us. Let us commit ourselves to do what’s good in His sight, even when it seems that the wicked are prospering. If are we faithful, He will keep His promise to us.