(This part, in parentheses, was added last.
This post began as showing a contrast between the righteous and the wicked and ended up encouraging everyone to practice. You'll see....)
There is a sharp contrast seen in this Psalm between the wicked and the righteous. The psalmist is asking God to hear his cries - his prayers and as he does he shows a big contrast not only in people, but in how God responds. (My thoughts below are from reading the NIV and Good News Translations.)
Here are a few contrasts that I noticed right away.
1. The wicked are not welcome in God's presence. In fact, God destroys them.
The righteous can enter God's presence - not because of what they have done, but because of God's love! Which leads the righteous to worship Him.
2. God makes the way straight for the righteous - or as the Good News translation words it, He makes His way plain to follow. The righteous follow God. By contrast, the plots of the wicked bring about their ruin.
3. The wicked are driven from God's presence because of their rebellion, but the righteous take refuge in Him and SING for joy!
Take a look at your life. Do you find yourself following God, worshiping Him and singing for Joy? Or are you often in a big mess because you followed your own plots or rebelled against God?
You'll find yourself following God more consistently and in better ways as you spend time in His Word. His plans for your life aren't going to show up in an email or on television. He speaks through His word and by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Is this a new idea for you? It is for many, so don't be discouraged. Reading a Psalm a Day is a good starting place. Read God's Word, see what He is saying to you, then follow what He says. You'll get better at it as you practice.
You can't learn to play the violin in a day. You can't expect yourself to be the perfect follower of Christ in a day. Practice. Do it. We'll know you're doing better as a follower of Christ when we see you worship and you join in the singing. vv. 7, 11
The video here is a great illustration of getting better as you practice. (Fast forward through it if you'd like. It's a little painful at first, but by the time you get to the end - WOW!)