Fighting Envy Daily Devotion

Scripture: Psalms 37:1-7

Alright. We’ve seen what it is; we’ve seen that the Bible condemns it; and we’ve seen that there are negative consequences if you give way to it indefinitely. Now let’s just talk about how to fight it. That’s the big issue, and Psalm 37 is the place where we’ll start.

This is a great Psalm for talking about how to fight envy because it starts off with the main point of “Don’t be envious.” Then I count six solid reasons for why not to be envious in the first 11 verses. What I’m trying to do tonight is give you an example of how to fight the fight of faith in your devotions.

When you wake up in the morning and notice a feeling of envy inside you towards somebody at work, a family member, or somebody, and you say, “This shouldn’t be there. What can I do about it?,” here’s what you do you. You get out the Bible, kneel down in prayer, and start reading. You look for the biblical promises that explode envy. But to do that you have to realize, first of all, that envy is a form of unbelief.

So I hope it is clear that when we are beginning to envy—when we’re starting to look at somebody and resent that they have something and we don’t—and we’re beginning to lose our peace and contentment in God because of it, the issue is faith. Okay? That’s the point so far.

Now the  reason this Psalm is so great is because it gives so many reasons why we shouldn’t be unbelieving. It tells us why we should be totally restful and confident that God is for us. It tells us that he’s working in a way that, even if it looks like something’s going better for them, things are going to go great for us. Now let’s look at those. I wrote down six reasons that I see in this chapter for not being a in the grip of the unbelief of envy.

1) Verse 2: “They will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.” So if you are starting to get envious about a wrongdoer, like the scoundrel who just won a million dollars, God says, “Wait a minute. You don’t want to be in his shoes. He is going to fade like the grass, and those who do the will of God abide forever” (1 John 2:15). So that’s argument number one.

It’s repeated in verse 9: “For the wicked shall be cut off but those who wait for the Lord shall possess the land.” And in verse 10: “A little while and the wicked will be no more.” So the first reason you shouldn’t let envy get the upper hand when you’re feeling it towards an unbeliever or somebody who is unrighteous is the thought, “Wait a minute. God has said in his word that this person is going to fade like a flower—very quickly. They’ll be gone and then whose will their prosperity be?”

2) Verse 3: “So you shall dwell in the land and enjoy security,” or, “and feed (pasture) on faithfulness.” In other words, that’s the reward that comes from trusting God. Trust the Lord and do good and you will pasture in a land that is green. Your desires will be met, which leads to the next one.

John Piper

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