After the 2008 election, we attended a church service where the pastor preached a sermon about how regardless of who wins elections, God remains on the throne. With our lips, we declare God is sovereign, but watch our actions and attitudes when our candidates lose elections. Our belief statements often misalign with our attitudes.
Fast forward to 2020, the year that traumatized souls at a deep level whether from pandemic living, political climate, or uprises in cities. Now we sit on the verge of 2023 and the anxiety has reached new heights.
I had a conversation recently with someone who was deeply upset about what we are seeing in the world. Culture is changing at a rapid pace and evil seems to have increased. Maybe it has, or maybe we simply see more through media, particularly social media, than at any other time in history. Regardless, it is creating traumatized souls.
I prayed for the person I’d had this conversation with, and later that day my radio station landed on religious talk radio. The pastor preached from Psalm 37. I went straight home and opened the Bible to see for myself. This Psalm has become a soul balm.
The verse literally begins by telling us not to worry about the wicked.
“Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.” Psalm 37:1-2
We are far too worried about the wicked. We are much too weighed down by the evil. As humans we cannot possibly handle carrying the burden evil brings to our souls. It’s time to be done once and for all. God’s Word tells us the reason we don’t need to worry about the wicked, or envy the fact they seem to escape punishment, is they will soon be gone.
Whatever we get rid of, we must replace with something better. If you’ve ever fasted, you realize how important it is to fill what once took your time and attention with something different.
Psalm 37:3-4 tells us what to replace our worry over evil with. “Trust in the Lord, and do good: dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Practically speaking, replace giving your attention to the news and decide to do good. Live your life trusting God. Be faithful with what He’s given you. Go love on your family, serve in your church, talk to your neighbors, smile at strangers, sit for extended times with God in prayer and reading His Word. Delight in Him. Delight in living your life.
Verses 7-8 are key. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.”
Don’t worry. Don’t be angry. Be patient. Trust God. Why? Because our anger will only lead to more evil and because wrath is for God not us. Their time is coming. Thankfully, we can simply live our lives doing good and leave the handling of evil to the only One capable of administering justice.
2020 damaged my soul. I allowed myself to fret over evil and to sit in my anger over all the media told me to be angry about. Three years later, I still feel the effects it had and am only now seeing the waste of time and energy it was.
I don’t watch the news. I lost all trust in their reports, which are not much more than fear-mongering and propaganda. All sides of the news. All sides have an agenda. They want our reaction and attention.
Psalm 37 tells us exactly how to handle living in a world of evil: Don’t worry. Live where you are. Dwell. Do good. Keep your focus on Jesus. Trust He will take care of everything in due time.
“In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.” Psalm 37:10-11