Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity[c] and honor.
This is the promise of the Gospel – our pursuit of righteousness and kindness will not be in vain. However you may feel at the moment; if you despair of good winning out; if you see about you only death, wickedness, and shame; know that life, righteousness, and honor is what you will ultimately find. You will find more than you expect here in this world in your earthly lifetime. And you will find these things in their full glory in the presence of your Lord.
Do not despair as those who are without hope, who believe that there is nothing beyond this world and this life. Do not grow cynical; do not give way to bitterness. Rather open your eyes to the good that is around you. Take joy in the life you now have in Christ; delight in the righteousness that has been given to you in Christ; be humbled by the honor accorded to you in Christ.
For remember, it was not because you pursued righteousness and kindness that God sent his Son to die for you. You despised righteousness; you were not kind. But God showed his love for you in that while you were still a sinner, even an enemy of God, he sent his Son who brought to you life abundantly, who clothed you in his righteousness, and bestowed the honor of being called a child of God. How much more now, that you are pursuing righteousness and kindness, will he see that your faith “may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
Vindicate me, my God,
and plead my cause
against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
deceitful and wicked.
2 You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?
3 Send me your light and your faithful care,
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.