“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” -Proverbs 23:17-18 (NIV)
At times, the success of the wicked completely baffles us. We often see those steeped in sinful lifestyles live seemingly happy lives without experiencing the consequences of their decadence. As we observe this and struggle in upholding Christ’s righteousness, we may wonder if the age old idea of good triumphing over evil is a lie. We may be tempted to ask ourselves if there is really any point or merit in living a life of holiness and integrity. Before we take that plunge into a lifestyle of wickedness however, we must consider a very important fact – sin is an excellent deceiver. With promises of hope, bliss, and fulfillment, it misleads us into thinking that we can have a wonderful life by living in whatever way we see fit. But like a disease which initially has no outward manifestation, it will slowly cause us to decay from the inside.
In sin there is no hope. Though all around us we may see the wicked prosper and live in contentment, such luxuries are fleeting. The only certainty of sin is that it leads to death and those who tread along that path will not only face the consequences of their wrong choices here on Earth but also in the hereafter if they choose to remain in their errant ways. However, through Christ we have a secure hope. When we have personally accepted His redemptive sacrifice on the cross for us and allowed Him to dwell within our hearts, He clothes us with His righteousness. This is a righteousness which will guarantee us a place in Heaven not through any effort of our own, but what Christ Himself has done for us. Yet this righteousness is not meant to be dormant, rather we must allow Christ to perfect this righteousness in us so that others will be drawn to Him. This process will often require us to make lonely stands for His holiness when the world around us rejects what Christ has to offer, and this can be very discouraging at times. But we must always remember and take assurance in the fact that in Christ we have a hope that will never be snatched away from us; a hope which sin can never offer, and promises joy, fulfillment, and life eternal.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.