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. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed…. (Psalm 37:7-9)
Psalm 37 was apparently written by an older and wiser King David (I was young and now I am old… v.25.) If you know anything about the life of David as recorded in the Bible, you will know that David suffered through many trials and persecutions throughout his life. Many people hated him and tried to kill him throughout his lifetime, including government officials, “friends”, and even his own son.
Psalm 37 deals with the heart of the issue of injustice in the world, and the anger it can produce in our life. He writes:
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.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (Psalm 37:1-15)
Dealing with the injustices that we see in the world and in our own personal lives begins with a faith in God, believing that he created everything and has absolute control over his creation, including the affairs of man. “Evil men,” as David calls them, those who do not believe in or serve God, have no future either in this life, or in the life to come in eternity.
God has a master plan. He has the last say. A long-term view of life sees that God and righteousness always win in the end.
So when we see injustice and things in life that are just “not fair,” we need to first understand that God sees it also, and he has a plan to make all things right, to bring everyone into an account for their actions someday.
Having this understanding, our proper response is to wait for God to take action, and follow his leading in our life to accomplish his purpose in us, the purpose for which he created us.
Anger is not a proper reaction, because it pre-supposes that God either does not exist, or that he exists and just doesn’t care; that he has no plan to take care of things and bring about justice. According to David, this incorrect view of God leads to anger and negative results in our life. The negative emotions of anger, much like fear, often give our enemies power over us.
Look at the benefits, however, of trusting in God in these situations:
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. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37:3-6)
What a wonderful promise he makes to us if we trust in him! With such a wonderful promise from someone who never lies and never goes back on his word, why would we ever have any reason to be angry at the difficulties life puts in our path?
We know what the future holds, and we know that there is an all-powerful God who will make all things right, in his own timing. The righteous will be persecuted and suffer in this life, but reap the rewards of patiently waiting on God to bring about justice in due time.
Now that Jesus Christ has come to earth and himself suffered the ultimate injustice by being put to death on the cross, and rising out of the grave on the third day to prove his power over death, judgment day awaits for the wicked. Those who have put their faith and allegiance in Jesus Christ will escape the coming day of judgment at the end of the ages.
Are you caught in a circle of anger and frustration over the “unfair” circumstances of your life, and your powerlessness to be able to do anything about it? If so, then be assured that you are right where God wants you to be, in a position to come to him in faith and helplessness and to “wait patiently for him.” Replace your frustration and anger by “delighting yourself in the Lord,” and you will soon experience the joy and peace that comes from trusting in God.
If you are delighting yourself in the Lord, you will then find out that the things you desire in life are the things God wants you to have, and that he delights in giving them to you! All the reasons to be angry will then just fade away…
If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. (Psalm 37:23-26)