Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:1-7)
I arrived at the airport one day and asked the skycap standing on the curb, "How's your day been going?" He looked me straight in the eye and with a grin about a mile wide, he said, "I am too blessed to be stressed." I like that because it summarizes what the psalmist was talking about.
The ignorant fret because they don't know enough. The educated fret because they know too much. The poor fret because they don't have any money. The rich fret because they're afraid they're going to lose what they have. The old fret because they’re facing death. The young fret because they're facing an unsure future. And yet God says to fret not, but how do we do that?
Trust in the Lord When Resources Vanish
Psalm 37:3 tells us to trust in the Lord and do good. The literal translation of this word "trust" is that you are face down on the ground with no visible means of support. Most of us have never been in that kind of position because we are able to see options. But, sometimes God puts us in a place where we don't have any options. The only thing we can do is trust God. Paul discovered this kind of trust in prison.
The second part of Psalm 37:3 says, To do good. Most people withdraw or retreat when things get tough. But, that is not what the psalmist tells us to do. We are to move forward and stay busy.
You see, God puts you in school. And God will keep you there until you pass the test. If you flunk out the first time, He'll enroll you again.
Delight in the Lord When Dreams Dissolve
Psalm 37:4 says that if you delight yourself in the Lord that He will give you the desires of your heart. When our dreams dissolve it is tempting to fret. Why? Because our joy is threatened. The only answer is to find a source of joy that cannot be threatened, and that source is the Lord.
You see, the psalmist exhorts us to delight in the Lord. Now if you delight yourself in anything other than the Lord, they are all subject to change. Malachi 3:6 tells us that the Lord never changes.
Is glorifying God the chief desire of your heart — even when your dreams dissolve? Corrie Ten Boom said, "Look around and you'll be distressed. Look within, and you'll be depressed. Look to the Lord, and you’ll be at rest."
Commit Your Way to the Lord When Your Lifestyle Is Threatened
The American lifestyle has gone through a dramatic transformation. But what does Psalm 37:5 tell us to do when our lifestyle is threatened? "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."
The literal translation of the word "way" is "lifestyle." It has the idea of a well-traveled path. Now, the word "trust" has a different meaning than Psalm 37:3. It literally means to roll your way on the Lord — commit it to him.
Now if you do that, your standard of living may change, but not your standard of life. It's very important you understand that. There's a difference between a standard of living and a standard of life.
Rest in the Lord When God Seems Slow to Act
You can't rest until you have trusted, delighted, and committed your life to the Lord. This word "rest" literally has the idea of being silent before the Lord. It means you are not to murmur or complain.
You have to wait patiently for God. Psalm 30:5 says, "For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." God's presence is like the sunrise — you can't hurry it up and you can't stop it.
When you rest in the Lord, you'll be too blessed to be stressed.