Psalm 37: 1-7
Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 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.
God tells us in scripture to hide His word in our heart so that we may not sin against Him. Oh, how much strength and protection this gives us as we walk in battle on a daily basis. My prayer as we walk through the beginning of Psalm 37 is that we will read and re-read His word over and over and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us, give us His knowledge and understanding as we approach Him with humility and a spirit of expectancy, trusting Him to guide and lead us by His living Word.
As this chapter begins, we see David say "Do not fret". Fear and fretting is something that can overcome our thought life, be the foundation of how we make decisions, lead us in our actions or inactions. It could come in the form of worrying about work, health, financial stability, children, what others think of us, success or lack thereof. It can be easy to let fear and "fret" overcome our thought life. Why do we fret, why do we fear when Scripture tells us over and over, do not fear, do not be afraid, do not fret? We see in this scripture David outlines how to defeat worry, fear, and fret.
First, he says, "Trust in the Lord and do good" He did not put a period after Trust in the Lord. He included "and do good." In James we see him tell us faith without works is dead. That may lead to the question, “What am I supposed to do in order to do good?” That answer comes from God. The Holy Spirit works in our heart to give us understanding of what God wants us to do. It starts with an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, spending time in His Word and allowing Him to guide our lives with His hand. If we want to overcome a life of fear and worry, we must trust in the Lord and do good.
Next, he says "Take delight in the Lord": What do you take delight in? What is the center of your focus, your pursuit, your chase of happiness? Is it the Lord or is it something or someone else? Is it money, your children, your spouse, your career, or could it be doing good and getting recognition from others? Yes, something good could become what your delight is in and that is not what our delight is to be in - it is to be in the Lord! I always ask the Holy Spirit to test my motives. Am I doing things, good things because His hand guides me? Or is it out of selfish ambition, selfish recognition? When we take delight in Him, it is about a relationship, not an obligation. He longs to be in relationship with us and it is through that relationship He leads and guides us. We are to find our deepest desires in who He is and what He has done.
Then he says "Commit your way to the Lord". We try to over complicate things. We put things on our shoulders. We say we trust in Him, but then we worry through the process of searching for Him. We begin questioning… will we find Him, will we hear Him, will He really lead, will He really guide, how will I know. Yet, He wants us to keep our eyes on Him, stay close to Him and trust Him. Hebrews 11:1 says Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. We are to have faith in Him.
There is so much to dive into in this chapter. However, the last thing we will look at today is in verse 7, Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. I don't know too many people, myself included, where being still before the Lord comes easily. Be still. Let those words sink in. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. How often are you still before the Lord? I mean really still. Not in passing, not coming before the Lord with five other things going on in the background. How many of us maybe attempt the first part of this sentence, we go to our Father and are still; yet if we don't hear our answer in the amount of time we have set forth, we go to plan B? His word says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
Do not fret, Trust in the Lord and do good, Take delight in the Lord, Commit your way to the Lord, Be still before the Lord and wait patiently on Him. Scripture says our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness. In order to go into battle, we must have the full armor of God and that includes filling our mind with His truth.