Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Do Not Fret

"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil." (Psalm 37:7-8)
I call Psalm 37 "Jealousy Buster" :). David shared his insights and wisdom that he had gleaned from years of walking with God. When you see immoral people and/or God-haters succeed and flourish, are you upset, annoyed, or jealous? Do not be so. Their success is brief (they will perish) but our blessings in the Lord are everlasting. Keep enjoying God (delighting in Him) and He will give you the desires of your heart which will be aligned with His (see verse 4 of this same chapter). Be still (rapha = be weak) before the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act. Why weak? God wants us to cease striving on our own strength and instead, submit to Him, lean on Him & His strength. He knows & wants what's best for us and his timing is perfect. It's hard for our human nature to wait and to be patient. Waiting period is a learning and preparing period. God has a purpose for us to wait patiently for Him, rely on Him, and rest in Him (be content in Him) completely. Let us make the most of our waiting time by knowing Him better and honoring Him by trusting & obeying Him no matter what!

"Do not fret" is mentioned 3 times in this chapter (in verses 7 & 8 above and in verse 1) "Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will son wither, like green plants they will soon die away." (Psalm 37:1-2) "The Hebrew word (for "fret") means to burn. The verb is in the Hebrew reflexive stem which could be translated, “Don’t work yourself into a slow burn” when you see evil men prospering. Don’t let it get under your skin; it will only lead you into wrong (37:8). One reason we get irritated when we see evil men getting away with their schemes is that we are assuming that we know how to run the world better than God does. So one aspect of submission to God is to put off such irritation, giving God the sovereign right to deal with evildoers in His time and way." (Steven J. Cole) God does not want us to be worried or anxious or envious or upset. Anger, wrath, and discontent can and often do lead to evil (causing harm and other sinful actions). Instead, God wants us to trust in Him and do good (verse 3), delight in Him (verse 4), commit our way to Him (verse 5), be still before Him & wait patiently for Him (verse7), be humble (verse 11), walk uprightly (verse 18), be generous (verse 21, 26), be just & faithful (verse 28), hope in Him & keep His way (verse 34), and take refuge in Him (verse 40). Simply trust Him and be at peace. Fretting steals your joy and peace. Don't compare yourselves with others. Be content with whom God made you to be and where He puts you right now. Stop worrying/fretting when the bad guys win. Shift your focus to God, our just & righteous Judge! Let go and leave all in God's hands. He will right all wrongs sooner or later. "The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; He is their Stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him." (Psalm 37:39-40)

Five points that might help us have the right perspective and focus when we have trouble trusting God:
  • God is in control even when things are out of control. His sovereignty rules.
  • God is faithful even when we have little faith. He always keeps His promises.
  • God is good all the time even when nothing good seems to be happening right now. His goodness never changes.
  • God loves us no matter what we do or don't do...succeed or fail. His love never fails.
  • God is omnipotent. Nothing is impossible for Him. He can do what we cannot.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

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