As Christians who walk daily with the Lord, we should all watch out for those attitudes that take over our hearts and minds most especially when we are least aware of them. And then, when they have begun to take root in us, they tend to crowd out the confidence and they begin instill fear, anger, envy and discontentment in us. I was reminded by this in one of our Pastor’s exhortations.
The Prosperity of the Wicked. One of the most disconcerting realities we face is the facts that some evil men apparently do prosper. They are the ones who are not playing fair and yet they seem to get the better end of the bargain.
Does this attitude sound familiar? I am very sure it is.
In Psalm 37, David admonishes us to refrain from anger and not to fret when the wicked prosper. In our sinfulness and depravity, there is that sense or feeling of envy and disdain whenever we see evil men increase their ill-gotten wealth and enjoy their disease free bodies in sinful indulgence and lifestyle. We really can’t help it most of the time – something in us just revolts and complains.
David, having experienced the same and having known its danger and trap, exhorts us to turn to the Lord during this critical time. He testified in Psalm 73 verses 2 and 3 that, “my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked”. He knew that that devil uses this snare to discourage and distract us from fulfilling our God-given calling and purpose. Feelings of self pity and a sense of futility as well as confusion flooded his mind and heart when he first thought about this. His first reaction was to think that his pursuit of moral goodness and purity was in vain and useless since God also blesses the wicked anyway. But the Lord God showed David that the wicked’s prosperity, like all other earthly pleasures, is just fleeting and temporal. Just like a spider’s web, it traps and immobilizes to the eventual point of demise.
The Adversity of the Righteous. On the other hand, the Christian life is not rid of trials and testing. What adds to our confusion and dilemma is the presence of these adversities and troubles in our life. What we need to learn and accept is that trouble and adversity form part of the common lot of man. They are definitely to be expected and no one is exempted from the trails and troubles of earthly life. But just like all other earthly pleasures and prosperity, these too are just temporary and will never last.
But as the Apostle James points out to us,
“consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
Now, that’s some kind of attitude!
Adversities form and strengthen our character. We can actually advance through adversities. In his Psalm, King David teaches us to focus our faith on the Lord and to put our full trust and confidence in Him. Instead of dying in anger, envy and discontent, let us channel our powerful emotions into more productive and glorifying endeavors for the Lord. Instead of anger and envy, let us always be thankful to God for His love and mercy to us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will take care of us, now and forever.
This post about the Christian’s attitude was based on Pastor Val’s Shepherd notes.