Proverbs 12:21 (ESV)

21 No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.

Asaph experienced the opposite of what this proverb says. He complained that wicked people knew no troubles, while he was suffering day after day (Psalm 73:1–28). Thus, this proverb is not a straightforward one. It is one of the “riddles of the wise” (Proverbs 1:6).

The book of Proverbs itself speaks in many places of the troubles that may befall righteous people. The best way to understand a proverb such as this one is to see it as a general principle: the righteous can avoid many of those troubles that sin brings into the lives of wicked people.