Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
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. (Psalm 37:5-7)
Yesterday as we started Psalm 37 we recognized the importance of David’s word choice: fret. It’s a funny word- fret. It isn’t one that we’re used to hearing- worried or anxious are more widely used. Fret isn’t the same though- fret, as we learned yesterday, means to visibly worry while the reason for that worry eats you up on the inside.
As we continue on in Psalm 37 notice that David again tells us not to fret. David’s intensity to deliver the “do not fret” instruction is so intense that he repeats himself a second time (and actually a third time, but we’ll get there tomorrow).
When David tells us not to fret the first time it is in connection with those who do evil. Now David tells us that we should not fret when those evildoers succeed in carrying out their wicked schemes. If you’ve ever experienced evildoers carrying out wicked schemes against you, fretting is sort of the default reaction. It’s a tall order to reject the seemingly natural response of fretting, but it is exactly what the Bible tells us to do. When we read the passages that David writes again we see exactly how to do just that.
David reminds us that when we commit ourselves to God and trust in Him, He will be our vindication. What other people think, or speculate, or whisper about isn’t important- don’t concern yourselves with that- it’s none of your business, even if the whispers are about you. Don’t fret about it. The stories behind those whispers, or the schemes of the evildoers, have no bearing on your purpose, your relationship with God, or your salvation. Remember that by the time those events, as catastrophic as they may feel, reach you they are part of God’s will. That isn’t to say that God caused them, but He will use them for good. Remember that He is already at the end of the ordeal; nothing surprises God. He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
What steps can we take to refuse to fret? When you’re face to face with the evildoers, trekking through the muck of their wicked schemes, I think it’s one breath and one step at a time. Stand behind Him, cling to the train of His robe, close your eyes if you need to and whisper “I trust you, Jesus” as you follow Him one step at a time.
God makes several promises to us to carry us through these circumstances. Claim them! God promises to:
- Take care of you in all circumstances: “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)
- Never leave you or forsake you: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
- Fight for you: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)