Do you consider yourself a “saint?” I think that’s a different question than do you consider yourself “saintly?” If you’ve chosen to respond to Christ’s call to us – “Follow me” – then you are doing the work and living the life of a saint, and our Scripture for the year (Psalm 37) offers courage to us.
You see, Psalm 37 is prefaced with this phrase by the Bible’s editors: “He will not forsake his saints” (ESV). So, when we consider the work God has given us to do, and the seeming chasm between that work and the apparent resources he has provided for it, that simple phrase has to have a lot of power and meaning. For, if we are his saints he will NOT forsake – let go, fuggedabout, discard, ignore – us.
Here is the first section of this work (v.1-2) for us to explore this month. This is from the English Standard Version:
Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and whither like the green herb.
Who are those that cause you to fret? To be envious? In Nashville, for me I’ve noticed it’s red-light runners (who’d have thought it would be worse here than in DC??!). That’s minor, of course, until someone you love is hurt as a result. Or, more distantly but still affecting those we know and love, the continuing corruption and violence of those who hold down an entire continent of people. Some of us call out to God and say “How long?” Others, like Ben Affleck, call out to Congress and say “How long?” And yet the painful drama continues to roll on, and we wonder – indeed we fret – because it seems to have no end.
So many times in Scripture we are reminded to trust God for justice, even if his actions aren’t always visible or evident. We cry out for justice, but… (there’s always a but!) … we are not without recourse. In fact, one of the great strengths of this organization that we are compelled to build on is a network of some 2500 leaders and 50,000 graduates, each involved with one or more local churches. Do you really know what can happen when God’s people are moved to action and voice?