Psalm 37, is one of those “life-Psalms” that needs to be read often. It reminds us of our hope and security, as we trust in the Lord. It also reminds us that even when it seems like evil is flourishing, and the wicked are enjoying prosperity, God is the final authority.
The Psalm says,
1 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.
Do You Fret? Fret (anxiety) is a cousin to fear. Fear is the natural response to a real threat. When we are threatened by cancer, or by an intruder, or by the loss of our job– there is a good reason to fear. Fret, however, is our reaction to a “potential threat.” “What if “ I get cancer, orlose my job, or some other possible difficulty?
Fretting is natural. It is good to be aware of potential threats, and stay back from the cliff, or put on our seat belts. However to experience “perpetual anxiety and to live in a continual state of “fret” is not God’s desire for us. That’s what the Psalmist is trying to teach us.
In February we will begin our “Anxious For Nothing Adventure.” In Philippians 4. 4-8, Paul challenges us to some action steps for dealing with our anxieties. He writes:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
This next few months we will seek to apply to our lives, these specific phrases, so that we may practice being people of faith and trust, rather than people of fret and worry.
In a previous message, I suggested that Psalm 37 provides a solution for fretting. I want to remind you that they are available for practicing. The solution to fret, is a four-part recipe, using the letters F-R-E-T.
The F– FAITH. Psalm 37.3- “Trust in the Lord, and do good, dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Verse 5 says, “Commit your way to the Lord…” When I fret, I need to realize that I am not trusting the Lord, but myself, or some- one else. God is sovereign and powerful– I am not. Neither are you. Put your FAITH in God
The R– REST. Psalm 37.7 says, “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” If God is taking care of my problems, then I can just relax, and let Him do the worrying. Yes, that’s easier said than done, but I can practice and work on this, at least.
The E– ENJOY- Psalm 37. 4. “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires or your heart. (3b) says, “…dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Do you count your blessings? Can you begin your day thinking of five things you are thankful for? Or do you appreciate when something good happens? Good things happen a lot! Are you noticing? Do you give God the praise?
The T– TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS! Psalm 37.3, says “Trust in the LORD and DO GOOD! Do a kind deed. Write a note, or help a friend. Give some time, or some money, or some needed attention. Giving, and doing good releases positive feelings and emotions in us. Thus, the worries and frets seem to lose their power.
Next time to start to fret, read Psalm 37, and remember: Faith, Rest, Enjoy, and Try a little kindness.
May you enjoy God’s blessings to You!