And no, I’m not talking about guitars.
I’m talking about the opening words of Psalm 37. Earlier today, my wife and I were talking about this Psalm. I was able to take some time and go outside on an amazingly beautiful (and not-so-humid) August morning to sit and read it through few times. Such an encouraging, timely, and calming Psalm.
There’s a whole lot of frettin’ going on these days: the economy, the election, terrorism, racism, health care, hatred…the list could go on and on and on. There are a lot of things that can cause us anxiety, worry, fear. And yet David tells us 3 times in Psalm 37 “do not fret.”
So, ok, I’m not supposed to worry. I get that. But what AM I supposed to do?
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37 v. 3-5)
Trust in the Lord– believe that what God has promised, He will do. Believe that He is Who He says He is. Believe that He is sovereign. Trust that He knows best. Remember that God is love, and that He has set that love on YOU in sending His own Son to die for YOUR sins, and to rise again.
Do good – seriously, do good. Follow Jesus. Do what He’s called you to do, and do it with all your heart. Love your family. Do your job to the best of your ability. Serve the Lord in whatever way He’s called you. Love your neighbor.
Dwell in the Land- The word means to settle down, to have roots, to abide. Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” When you’re tempted to fret, fret not, and abide in Christ. Turn to Him, let Him sustain you.
Feed on His faithfulness-What are you feeding on? Think back to how faithful God has been to you. Think back to all He’s done for you. And if you’re having trouble thinking back, start with the Gospel. Preach the Gospel to yourself! You were dead in trespasses and sins! And yet God so loved YOU that He gave His one and only Son, so that YOU could believe in Him and have everlasting life!
Delight Yourself in the Lord – What are you taking joy in? If it’s not rooted in God, it will be a fleeting joy. James 1:17tells us that “every good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Remember the source of all you have. Run to Him. Seek the Giver, not the gift. Only Jesus can truly satisfy my soul. Seek that. Delight in Him.
Commit your way – I will never forget one of our associate pastors, Pastor Jeff, sharing on this Psalm, and particularly this verse. To commit your way to the Lord means to “Roll off onto” the Lord, to take your cares, your worries, your fears and roll them off your shoulders (which can’t handle them anyway) and onto the Lord’s more-than-capable hands. Give it to Him. He has it. He is sovereign. He can handle it.
And finally, Trust in the Lord (in case we missed it the first time).
I encourage you to go read this whole Psalm. And don’t fret…you’re only harming yourself.