Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. NIV
I woke up this morning thinking that the word, “dwell,” had to appear more than once in the Bible. (It’s listed twice in my NIV concordance, but, once applies to living somewhere, not worrying). So, I went back to my King James concordance. There, I found pages of listings for dwell, dwelleth, dwelling, etc., but all had to do with living places. So, I tried “fret,” and found this Psalm.
What a blessing this entire chapter is to my heart! This Psalm is rich with reminders not to worry.
I sometimes find myself fretting over something that someone has done to hurt me. I can’t know anyone’s heart, but, sometimes (not often) it seems that people intentionally try to hurt me, most times though I just get hurt in the process of something else — there was no malice toward me individually.
I think that this verse is especially helpful in those situations where I have experienced malice. In the world today, I think that this often happens as people jockey for worldly power. But, it can be much simpler than that. Someone perceives that I have something that they want or they need to achieve their earthly goals, and they take it, just because they can. I have a friend whose young daughter got her bike stolen out of her own front yard. That’s malice.
And yet, in the world today, aren’t we sometimes envious of those who do wrong? Don’t we sometimes wish that our life was as easy as theirs seems to be? I know I find myself thinking those things sometimes.
But, this passage drives the reminder not to worry succinctly to the point. I can’t lose focus by fretting about wrongs that may have been done to me, or by envying the accomplishments of those who have perpetrated the wrongs. The world can take only worldly things from me. It cannot rob me of my most precious possession — my relationship to Christ. With Christ as my shepherd, I can live peacefully and enjoy the safety of His pastures. I don’t want to be the sheep straining my neck and wishing after the illusion of greener grass next door.
Today, I will delight in the Lord and rest in the assurance that He will give me the desires of my heart.