Looking at Proverbs 11:8 today:
I find this interesting to consider. At first glance, this appears to tell us that righteous people won't have problems and the wicked people will get them instead.
Except that life shows us that this understanding isn't true. This week alone, I've read of Christians being killed for their faith in 3 separate countries. In Pakistan, 6 people were killed while at work with Compassion International, an organization that feeds starving children. It's hard to doubt that the wicked walked away from trouble while the righteous went undelivered, like a UPS overgood.
However, if you throw in the Biblical definition of righteousness, we start to get a better understanding. Take a look at Isaiah 53:6 :
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
and again in Romans 3:10:
10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
So, even though we would account many people as being righteous, a Biblical standard does not.
Yet this hardly seems satisfactory. How could we worship a God who deemed that everyone should receive nothing but trouble?
Here's the glory of the Lord in the answer: when we accept Christ, it is His righteousness that counts for us. Take a read at Romans 5:1:
5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
That "justified" reflects a couple of things, but the most relevant right now is that followers of Christ as given credit, by the grace of God, for the righteousness that Christ has. His right-standing in the Law of God counts for us.
In light of eternity, the righteous are those who have the righteousness of Christ credited for them who are delivered from trouble. They are delivered from the wrath of God. Which, all in all, is a good deliverance to have.