Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 23:17)
It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that others have it better than we do. When our spirit is weighed down under the storm winds that inevitably blow our way, we may cast an envious eye at seemingly carefree and prosperous sinners, believing that they are better off than Christian believers. And there is nothing that makes Satan happier than enticing the saints of God to shift their focus away from the Lord and onto the stuff of this world.
But this is not for you! Envy is real and it must be rejected. But how do we do it? Today’s verse tells us how: by filling ourselves with the fear of the Lord. Envy is ejected when we live in the light of eternity, fixing our gaze on the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Envy cannot rear its ugly head when we hold fast to the promises we have in Jesus. Living in the light of eternity elevates us above the earthly and into the realm of the heavenly. The more heaven we have in our hearts the less earth we will envy, thinking that perhaps we are missing out on something “better.”
The fear of the Lord reminds us of the ultimate end of those whose god is this world. Paul warned, “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things” (Philippians 3:19). Regardless of what the world has now, it has it for but a fleeting moment in time. But for the saints of God, all the unfathomable riches of Christ are ours for eternity.
And what is the greatest of all the riches we have been given? The Lord Jesus Christ Himself! Remember, the Lord Jesus was the first promise of God to the sons of men after the Fall. He is the “seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15) who would ultimately crush the head of the serpent.
Regardless of where this message finds you today, remember that if you have Jesus you have it all. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his very soul in the end? A man’s wealth can be counted and measured. But when his riches are in Christ, even after a thousand years in eternity he will not have even scratched the surface of just how rich he truly is. Be zealous for the fear of the Lord; then you will know true prosperity and peace forever.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!