The final end of the wicked and the righteous will be quite different. The Lord has made upright people righteous (right in His eyes) by blotting their sins out and pouring new life into their heart by His Holy Spirit. The Lord’s grace will assist them continually, until they’re finally brought into His kingdom, and then the righteous will find salvation and peace. But all who rebel against God (the unrighteous) will be cut off, while all who’ve trusted in Him are safe—because they’ve placed their faith in Him. Therefore, He’ll save the righteous for all eternity, yet the unrighteous will be destroyed.
“…the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord” (Psalm 37:39). Salvation here refers to every kind of deliverance. But salvation isn’t what finally brings those who are right with God to Heaven. It also deals with minor rescues that might come their way in the meantime, for which He alone should receive all the credit and all the glory.
Sometimes, those who are righteous before God do suffer—but He’ll never turn completely away from His own. He’ll continue to maintain them instead. Whenever the righteous suffer, they provide an example of the character of Jesus. He was righteousness perfected, yet He also suffered and was forsaken! In themselves, no believers can be considered perfect, yet God considers them already perfect, because they’re in His Son. Therefore, all who truly trust in Him will have the kind of peace He had. “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace” (Psalm 37:37).
“The wicked shall be cut off” (Psalm 37:38) before much longer. The Lord won’t accept them in the end, and then they’ll be consumed by the fire of His wrath. But the righteous don’t need to worry. Once they’ve committed themselves to Him, He’ll make sure that they receive what they desire. They need to continue to delight and trust in God and do good, which is the way it should be for all who want to be blessed by Him.
Whenever the faith of the righteous stumbles and they want to know why, if they’ll continue to obey the Lord’s command to trust, delight and wait on Him, their faith will uncover all they’ve been asking for! And while they’re waiting on the Lord, they’re not to allow their spirit to be disturbed by evil. Sooner or later, “He shall deliver them from the wicked…” (Psalm 37:40) and all their trials. If it doesn’t happen in this life, then it will take place at their death. The Lord will never abandon them to the clutches of the wicked to do anything they want with His own.
But the righteous aren’t saved by faith alone or by trusting Him alone—they’re saved by being in the Lord Himself. He’s the One they have faith and trust in. And He’s the One Who decided that salvation should be by faith. Therefore, He’s provided faith so people can receive and experience the blessing of being saved. All who put their trust in Him and His Word will be blessed and redeemed. Those who are unrighteous need to repent of their sin and abandon it, and depart from evil and do good. Then, through Christ, they’ll also be able to trust in God and His mercy.
Why should God’s people be anxious or disheartened, therefore? Trouble may be successful in overthrowing the wicked, but it only drives the righteous into the arms of their strong Helper! He’s always willing to protect and lift them up. Whenever the righteous find themselves in trouble, God will be their fortress and will provide peace for them. He’s the same God Who saved Daniel from the lions (Daniel 6:27), and He’ll save everyone who loves and obeys Him from those who are trying to devour them.
“…the Lord shall help them, He will deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him” (Psalms 37:40). God will also help the righteous to carry out their responsibilities, and to handle their worries and difficulties properly. They may even get some good out of them! Then they won’t lean toward losing courage or collapsing, no matter how heavy their burdens may be. This “…light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…” (2 Corinthians 4:17) Salvation does not come because of any admirable quality or skill of their own, but only “…because they trust in Him.” The Lord expects the righteous to wait patiently, because it won’t be long before they’ll possess the “promised land” (Joshua 23:5)—their everlasting inheritance—and the wicked will be removed from it.
God assists and rescues all who run to Him for refuge. The same One Who saved the righteous will never let them down—He’ll make them victorious. When trouble comes to His people, He’ll be their stronghold in every crisis. He’ll save all who continue to hold tightly to Him.
Are you living a life of faith and trust in God and His promises? If you are, your walk of faith will soon be rewarded by the victory of faith! God stands up for the righteous ones He’s chosen. At the height of the battle, He’ll bring His forces up to help you. May we all reach the supreme goal of complete faith and trust in Him. If you’ll put your trust in the Lord and keep it there, you’ll find yourself continually blessed!
[Additional image credits: Featured image (when applicable) by Ilyas Onar on Unsplash]