I Mean, Look What Happened!
Quinn G. Caldwell
Fear God, and everything will be perfect. Love God, and nothing bad will ever happen to you. Simple! Except, of course, that every one of us knows it doesn't work that way, that good people and bad things happen to each other. The Psalm is gorgeous, but the theology seems simplistic, too easy, too naive.
I mean, look what happened to Jesus! He surely feared the Lord, surely walked in all God's ways. And they crucified him! So much for "it shall go well with you."
Then again, even while he was on the cross, he did keep praying to God. Even when the worst of things happened to the best of people, he did keep his faith in God. And in the end, Jesus was resurrected. So maybe the Psalm isn't as much about direct cause-and-effect relationships as it is about hope. Maybe it's not so much a prediction of exactly how things go as it is a description of how life with God feels. Maybe it's not about being a realist but about refusing to lose hope in a hopeless situation. Maybe being a Christian is about believing that life with God will be good in the end, even if life now isn't. I mean, look what happened to Jesus!
Prayer: God, grant me wisdom enough to praise you even when it doesn't make sense, strength enough to follow you down every path, and joy enough to sing your praises even in adversity. Amen.