Fighting Envy Pt.3 Daily Devotion

Scripture: Psalms 37:1-7

6) Verse 11: “The meek will possess the land and delight themselves in abundant shalom.” This word is translated “prosperity” here, which probably has a ring that is not so helpful in our day. In the Hebrew it refers to the whole well-being that comes to those who trust.

So here’s a little example of how you fight the fight of faith in the morning, if envy starts to rise up in your heart. You get a text like this where it says, “don’t be envious,” and then you say, “Lord, if I’m going to get over this envy I’m going to need some powerful arguments for why I should be resting in you. Would you give me some?” And then you just read step by step. And as you get to one you stop, and you pray, “Lord open my eyes to see the wonder of this promise. And grant me by your Spirit the capacity to savor it, rest in it, believe it, walk by it, live in it and act on it today, please.” And you go to the next verse and work on it again until you find God meeting you and just lifting this ugly thing of envy off of you.

Well let’s take a few more texts that you could use in your warfare against envy.

Proverbs 23:17: “Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all day.” And here comes this great promise: “Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” So here’s a person who looks at a sinner and sees that they’re prospering. Then that person starts to feel like their hope isn’t really going to prosper. They try to live for Christ but things don’t seem to go as well for them as they do for the sinner. The Bible is so aware of that problem. Psalm 37 was written to address it, and so was Psalm 73.

Consider how the Lord dealt with Peter at the Sea of Tiberias in relation to his question about John. “And Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? (Jn. 21:22).Follow me.'” What’s he saying there? I think he’s saying that it is real dangerous to compare circumstances. It is real dangerous to compare gifts. Jesus is saying here, “Look, don’t get all involved in comparing yourself with this other disciple. What I have for him, I have for him. Here is what I have for you: me. Is that enough?”

And that is the solution to envy. Just like it was the solution to lust, which we spoke about this morning. It’s Jesus. “Follow me. If you’re behind me, if you’ve got me, what do you need to worry about him for?” And so that’s the answer: we just need more of Jesus.

We need to realize what an incredible privilege it is to just know Jesus. Jesus said in another place, “Don’t rejoice over this, that the demons are subject to you. Rejoice that your names are just written in Heaven.” It is such a staggering privilege to be a disciple of Jesus Christ that what becomes of other disciples is neither here nor there. And so envy flies away.

John Piper

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