Fret Not

 I’m sure there are times in your life–there are in mine–when it seems that “being good” doesn’t seem to pay. You work really hard to follow God’s Word and to obey Him and yet your world often seems to cave while others around you who could care less about God, let alone doing His will, seem to prosper and have a much easier time in life. Well, you aren’t the only one to feel that way, nor the first. David felt that way, and for good reason. He was the bulls eye for the wrath of King Saul, and had to stay on the run and hide out to avoid being killed. But God helped him work through his emotional roller coaster and he wrote Psalm 37 where he tells us, “Do not fret because of evil doers, be not envious toward wrongdoers” (Psa. 37:3). 

     Does it bother you to see how much attention is paid in our culture to people who stand for all the wrong things and yet seem to have success?  Perhaps it is entertainment stars who get the headlines while espousing immoral philosophies in their music, movies, or programs. Or it could be professional athletes who have great success in their sport but whose lifestyle is very ungodly. Or maybe it is leaders who openly thumb their noses at biblical principles and biblical patterns of living about marriage being of one man and one woman, or sexual purity, sanctity of human life, life beginning at conception, etc.
     It is tempting and easy to fret about this and wring our hands in despair, or to get angry and wonder, “God, where are you?” But David suggests a better response in Psalm 37. David says, “Fret not!”  While it is biblically correct according to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:13-16) be “salt and light” in this decaying and dark world by attempting to counter sin by standing up for our Christian convictions and by reflecting Jesus’ light wherever possible, we cannot let negative forces cause us to live in anger or wrath or despair. David goes on to say, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret, it only leads to evil doing” (v. 8). Instead we are to rely on God to have the ultimate say about evildoers, and here’s what He, through David, said: “For they will wither quickly like the grass, and fade like the green herb (grass)… Evil doers will be cut off…Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more” (vv. 2,9,10). 
     And beyond not fretting, we should also follow David’s approach to:   
        1)  “Trust in the LORD and do good” (v.3)
        2)   continue to  “cultivate faithfulness” (v. 3).
        3)  “Delight yourself in the LORD” (v. 4).
        4)  “Commit your way to the LORD” (v. 5).
        5)  “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him” (v. 7).
 
     We may be repulsed by some of the things happening in our society and may tend toward anger and/or despair. But remember this: GOD IS IN CONTROL!!  Trust Him to do what is right and “don’t fret.”  God will have the last word.  And note what that last word is in David’s Psalm when we “fret not” but “Trust, Delight, Rest, and Cease from Anger:”     
        1)  “He will give you the desires of your heart” (v. 4).
        2)  “He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday” (v. 6).
        3)  You will “inherit the land and delight in abundant prosperity” (vv. 9,11).
        
    So, remember that God is still on the throne and in control. He is not up there wringing His hands saying, “Oh, my, what shall I do?”  He is accomplishing His purpose and bringing all things to His perfect conclusion in His perfect time. Don’t despair,  God WILL have the last word. Don’t forget it is His Story. And here’s what He said: “I am the LORD, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God…The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and calamity; I am the LORD who does all these…It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands, and I ordained all their hosts…I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it” (Isa. 45:5-7,12; 46:9-11).  “Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps” (Psa. 135:6), and “As for God, His way is blameless (perfect)” (Psa. 18:30). 
 
                                                                                                        Forever His,
                                                                                                            Pastor Dave  
 
    
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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