Marie and I read the Our Daily Bread devotionals in the mornings. Now and again I run across a devotional I would like to share with you. Today was such an occasion.
What piqued my interest was thinking about the people who worry about (or touched by) evil in the world: evil people (E.g. Saddam Hussein), evil events (such as 911), or evil tragedies (like rape or child molestation). The devotional comes close to home for me because I know an evil person who is manipulating, abusing, controlling and reeking havoc with members of his family. I also know friends who have been through unspeakable abuse and have survived to help others deal with their own abuse, thanks be to Jesus and Jesus alone.
I hope Fret-Free Living by Dave Branon in Our Daily Bread for Tuesday, December 6, 2011 blesses you. I am including the scripture because it is relevant to the devotional and my thoughts.
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.
Does it bother you to see how much attention is paid in today’s culture to people who stand for all the wrong things? Perhaps it is entertainment stars who get the headlines while espousing immoral philosophies in their music, movies, or programs. Or it could be leaders who openly thumb their noses at right-living standards.
It would be easy to fret about this and wring our hands in despair, but Psalm 37 suggests a better way. Listen to David’s wise advice: “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity” (v.1).
While it is right to be “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-14) in this tasteless, dark world—attempting to counter sin by reflecting Jesus’ light wherever possible—we cannot let negative forces cause us to live in anger and wrath (Ps. 37:8). Instead, we must rely on God to have the ultimate say about evildoers: “They shall soon be cut down like the grass” (v.2). Beyond that, we should take David’s approach: (1) “Trust in the Lord, and do good.” (2) “Feed on His faithfulness.” (3) “Delight yourself also in the Lord.” (4) “Commit your way to the Lord.” (5) “Rest in the Lord” (vv.3-7).
We may not like what we see and hear from some aspects of society, but remember this: God is in control. Trust Him to do what is right. And don’t fret.
When tragedy, heartache, and sorrow abound,
When evil appears to have conquered the right,
We center our heart on our Father’s great love,
For He will bring hope in the darkest of night. —D. De Haan
Don’t despair because of evil; God will have the last word.
P.S. You can read Our Daily Bread devotionals online by following this link, or pick up a free copy at many churches, or write to them at: RBC Ministries, PO Box 2222, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49501-2222. It is a free publication. We gave a donation, however, to help cover the cost of the magazine.