Fret Not, Trust, Delight, Commit, Rest and, Cease.
It is becoming more and more apparent that we live in an upside-down world. What once was valued and sacred is now vilified. Everyone is right in their own eyes. If you hold to truths, values and absolutes, you’re intolerant. So, what shall we do?
Let’s take a look at Psalm 37
Psalm 37 is a psalm of David and is considered a Maschil psalm; that is, a teaching psalm. This psalm acknowledges that to all appearances’ sake, those who commit evil acts may seem to prosper and to gain in strength and power. We can become fearful, distressed and perhaps even depressed when we see over and over again the growth of evil thoughts and of evil purposes.
What once was considered right by most of society is now considered judgmental, intolerant and wrong. Those things we valued are now distorted. Life from conception and now just before birth is no longer valued. The aged in our society are not as revered as they once were. Family and marriage are now distorted. The ability to have and to practice one’s faith is being challenged more and more.
What shall we do?
“Psalm 37 consists of a simple formula for us to follow and to adhere to so that we may achieve peace of mind in the face of the wicked’s prosperity”
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines ‘fret’ as, “giving the sense of gnawing away, to rub; to wear away a substance by friction; as, to fret cloth; to fret a piece of gold or other metal.. to corrode; to gnaw; to ear away; as, a worm frets the planks of a ship. to impair; to wear away. By starts, his fretted fortunes give him hope and fear. to form into raised work. to variegate; to diversify. to agitate violently. to agitate; to disturb; to make rough; to cause to ripple; as, to fret the surface of
So, in other words, don’t let the prosperity and gain of the wicked cause you to become so concerned that it agitates you, that it causes you to fear…
Why? Because God has all things under control and there’s nothing that goes on that is beyond His knowledge. There will be a consequence for all of this evil doing.
Put your whole understanding and confidence in God knowing that He is in control. While we place our complete faith, confidence and trust in God we MUST continue to do good. Our focus should not be on the wrongdoing of others but on the purpose God has us here in the first place. Each one of us has a divine purpose – whether big or small. By trusting in God and doing good we shall be ‘fed’ by His faithfulness.
We must turn our focus to God, to His character, to His being and to His instructions for life. When we turn our focus from the wickedness that will always be around us and place our focus on God – thoughtfully meditating on His character, His being, His strength, His purpose and His plan as well as the pleasure of His love toward us, we can truly begin to delight in Him and all that we have in this world. What we have becomes enough and what we can do for others in His name becomes or reason for being. When we truly focus and direct our delight toward God – our wishes will become His wishes – we will truly desire to be and to do all we can – for Him.
Again I turn to Webster’s 1828 dictionary to gain an understanding of the deeper meaning of some words – commit, “To give in trust; to put into the hands or power of another; to entrust; with to.” In this, we are turning over to God our ‘ways’. We are to roll onto God all of our cares and plans. When we do, He will bring to pass those things that are truly good for us in our lives. This goes beyond the things we think are important but delve deeper into what is the most important thing in our life – growing closer to God and becoming the person we’re meant to be.
Here, God instructs us to rest. Not only to rest, but also to wait for Him…and going a little beyond waiting. We are instructed to wait patiently for Him. This is not always easy. But, if we’ve prefaced our resting and waiting by first trusting God and committing our ways, this type of rest follows naturally. Knowing also how our hearts and minds work, God once again reminds us not to fret. This reminds me of when Peter saw Jesus walking on water. He called out to Him and Peter walked on water completely trusting God. Then, he realized his circumstances and his focus returned to the troubling sea about them. That’s when he began to sink. We will, as Peter did, from time to time turn our attention away from God and the storms of life may seem overwhelming to us and begin to take us in. We too can sink. But, we can quickly return to the comfort and delight of our faith in trusting God. We just have to begin again – Delight in God and Commit ourselves to Him. This is a life process.
Nothing takes God by surprise. The
God knows the thoughts and the ways of all mankind. He knows the ways and the ends of us all. We, as believers, are instructed to wait on the LORD. We are instructed to trust Him and to commit our ways to Him. The best part is that we’re not doing this all on our own. God not only provides salvation for us, but he also will provide all the help we need.
When we trust God, make Him our delight and strive to live our lives for Him – we can be confident that our life here will not only be secure but also filled with contentment and joy.