Saturday, January 16, 2010

Well-Doing Equals Well-Being (Credit to Psalm 37)

It is true that life is often unfair and good people are crushed whilst the cretins have a ball. Why is life so unfair at times, especially the important times?

Everyone seems to want the very best of what they determine is ‘the good life.’ But, how many varieties of ways are there in actually getting to that point? How long’s a piece of string? Perhaps there’s one simple way of ensuring our wellbeing. The theory is very adequately captured in Psalm 37 which could be epitomised by verse 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.” (TNIV)

There is probably no other psalm that can provide so much hope for the person who’s tempted to envy others who’re doing better at life whilst doing the wrong things. Yet, we all know that people who take shortcuts to success are normally ‘cut off’ ultimately—the very phrase used no less than five times in this psalm about ‘the wicked.’

The psalm instructs us to have confidence that God will come through for us, eventually—in our faith—should we continue focussing on the process and not the outcome. We therefore don’t whinge and grizzle when things appear to be going unjustly for us and others close. We just get on with our well-doing in order to sow into our future well-being. “Faith” in one single, mighty word!

In our considerations we’re well advised not to “bank” on things. Hopes are just that; hopes. We do not see them. They essentially don’t exist. We just hope for them. Swooning hope is a very dangerous thing. But to hope steadily—in a self-controlled way—now that is great thing.

Of course, this takes a lot of faith. The words and verses of Psalm 37 can give us hope while we wait for our justice. They inspire confidence in us that if they worked for others in the past they may just work for us—this is the industry of faith.

Psalm 37 is a very special psalm for a great many reasons. For those choosing the real life and fainting through a lack of hope, the wisdom of this psalm can only but soothe. At our depths it speaks to us.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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