“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.”
It was a tough business he was trying to break into, but he had high aspirations and the fortitude to make it. Early on, he spent many nights seeking his father’s advice and wondering whether he should change his tactics. On every one of those calls he recited the not-so-ethical strategies many of his competitors used, but dad always responded by telling his son to do things the right way because that would yield a greater reward. Those were tough words to hear because doing the right thing made the work much harder. Although his business stayed afloat, he could not say he was competitive with the rest. When he wallowed in self-pity because he could not grow that enterprise to the level he had hoped, dad told him that he perhaps was focused on the wrong reward.
Jeremiah wondered why he saw prosperity among the wicked. [Jer.12:1] In his understanding of the Lord he served, he simply could not grasp the concept. He certainly is not the only child of God to compare himself to the lawless and ask why they appear to be more blessed. His question is not unfounded, but the reasoning behind the question can be. There are two prosperities. One is a temporary condition existing only in this world, and the other carries with it the weight of eternity. The question is one of where we place our focus. If we place our attention on the prosperity that is to be experienced in this world, then we will see what looks like an unjust result. However, if we look to the bright future ahead for those who love God, we will understand which prosperity is greater.
God wants to bless his children here, and that is factual. He promises to provide for us and to remain with us. The greater promise is what comes after this, and if we have the option of setting our sights on one or the other, wisdom would lead us to praise God for the eternal prosperity awaiting us then. If the wicked around us appear to benefit from blessing after blessing as a result of their evil deeds, that does not change the prosperity we will have by walking in righteousness. There is no reason to envy or wonder when our day will come. We certainly would not trade our future reward for any reward to be gained here and that will perish with this world. Father, remind us of the prosperous future You have for us when this life appears to yield few blessings and little reward.