Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fret Not!

"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this; He will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men 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. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land."
Psalm 37:1-9

There is much said to us in the above verses and it is so applicable to the world we live in today.

Three times in the nine verses above, we are told "do not fret." What does that mean exactly?

The Hebrew word for fret means - "to glow or grow warm (literally); to blaze up (figuratively), of anger, zeal, jealousy - be angry, burn; be displeased, fret self, grieve, be(wax) hot, be incensed, kindle, be wroth.

So when we are admonished to fret not, we are, in effect, being admonished to keep a level head, to stay away from anger, wrath and "getting hot under the collar!" We are admonished to refrain from the kind of behavior that would not be becoming to someone who refers to themselves as a Christ-follower and the kind of behavior that could itself eventually lead to evil. We are admonished instead to exhibit the character of Christ in our reactions and to exhibit faith in Christ, believing that He is in control of all things.

There is so much evil in our world today, so many things happening right here in our own country that would certainly qualify to cause us to fret. Things that could cause us to "blaze up," be angry, be incensed about.

But here, the Word is admonishing us to fret not. Here, the Word is telling us not to fret because the evil doers will soon wither and die away. Instead, we are to trust in the Lord and do good. Do good even when all around us we see the evil ones prospering and we see their schemes working. But, we who call ourselves Christians are to continue to do good, the good we know Jesus would want us to do and we are to continue to trust in Him. For if we dwell in the land (the land of the Spirit; the land our Father has given us; see Joshua 1:3) we will enjoy safe pasture.

As we focus on and delight in Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts. His desires will become ours. Our focus will not be on the evil, but when it happens, we will continue to go back to Him, commit our ways to Him and He will cause our righteousness to shine! We won't have to draw attention to His good. As we follow Him and continually commit to Him, He will lift us up and the righteousness of Christ will shine forth in this dark and evil world.

In the midst of all the evil, if we are quiet and still before Him and wait patiently for Him to move, He will be faithful. It's very hard at times to wait on the Lord in the midst of very trying situations. I have in my own personal life, been dealing with a couple of things that have been not only annoying, but hard to understand, troubling and extremely concerning. I have felt the Lord say to me - "just be patient with me, I am working this all out."

It's hard to be patient when we see the evil doers prosper and we don't see any end in sight to the downward spiral. But again, God says, "be patient with me. I know the end from the beginning and I am still in control. Do not fret when their wicked schemes are carried out!" Again, we are told "do not fret." 

In the political climate we're in today in our country, it's very easy to fret. It's very easy to fret when it appears that things are getting worse instead of better. We hear the name-calling, we see again of another riot or police shooting on the evening news, we don't see justice carried out. We hear the lying, the deceit, the division, the rancor and so much more. All these things and more make it very easy to resort to fretting. We want to say, "God, don't you see? God, don't you care? God, why are you not doing anything??"

But, and there is always a But, God is not surprised by all these things. He sees and He knows, in fact, has known before they even were, and He whispers to us to just trust. Trust that He sees, trust that He knows and trust that He has provided.

We need to not get caught up in how bad things look or even how bad things actually are and we need to get caught up in Him. 

"Be still and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10

Do not fret, trust in the Lord, do good, delight yourself in the Lord, commit your way unto the Lord, be still before Him and wait patiently for Him to move, refrain from anger and wrath.

It's all about focus, isn't it? Our focus needs to always be upon Him, in all situations, personal, political, global, whatever!

Our God is still in control! He is still on the throne! He is still omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and sovereign!

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