19 Do not fret because of evildoers
or be envious of the wicked,
20 for the evildoer has no future hope,
and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
These verses echo Psalm 37, which is a comfort in times of darkness. There also we are told not to fret at the success of the wicked, which “leads only to evil,” but instead to “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” This is a difficult thing to do, as there is little comfort in patience, but there is none at all for those overcome by worry. It is tempting to believe that things will only get worse, that it is up to us to save ourselves. But the scriptures remind us again and again of the impermanence of evil: “A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.”
There is another temptation in dark times, to believe that nothing good can come from what is happening. But the Lord has a way of redeeming our suffering, if only we will let him. When bad things happen to good people, remember that the worst possible thing happened to the best possible person. Jesus was despised and rejected by his own people, unjustly condemned, abandoned by his friends, beaten and humiliated and killed on the cross. What good could possibly come from that?