1 Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For there are no pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
5 They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.
We have probably all had times where we wondered why the wicked prosper. Like Asaph, the writer of this Psalm, we can be grieved by their lack of troubles and our abundance of them.
I was blessed by the commentary by William MacDonald concerning this passage. He is profound, yet writes in a conversational, encouraging manner.
"What good has it done me to live a decent, honest, respectable life?" The hours I've spent in prayer. The time spent in the word. The distribution of funds to the work of the Lord. The active testimony for the Lord, both public and private. All I've got for it has been a daily dose of suffering and punishment. I wondered if the life of faith was worth the cost."
"Then something wonderful happened. One day I went into the sanctuary of God - not the literal temple in Jerusalem but the heavenly one. I entered there by faith. as I was complaining to the Lord about the prosperity of the wicked in this life, the question suddenly flashed across my mind, "Yes, but what about the life to come?" The more I thought about their eternal destiny, the more everything came into focus."
I hear one sentence that solidified my thinking about the presence of suffering in the life of a believer.
The Lord Jesus had a life of suffering,
why shouldn't I?
But it isn't just the suffering we share.
if indeed we suffer with Him,
that we may also be glorified together.
The wicked seem to prosper on earth, but this earth holds all the glory they will ever behold.
The believers, in the likeness of Christ, suffer on earth, but the earth holds all the suffering they will ever behold. They will prosper in Heaven for all of eternity.
The light of eternity turns our hearts turn from our earthly suffering to their eternal suffering.
Then we fully understand their need to eat, drink and sleep for tomorrow they die, because when they die they face the judgement.
That isn't prosperity.