Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.Psalm 37:1-2 (ESV)
This week I am going to begin a series on Psalm 37. When I was Bible studying the other day I knew I wanted to discuss a verse or two from Psalm 37, but I didn’t know exactly which verses to share. After reading the psalm a few times I realized I was struggling to choose a verse or two to highlight because I just wanted to share the whole thing. So, I decided to go ahead and spend the next few weeks breaking down the entire psalm in small segments. I hope it fills you with as much peace as it has me!
The first thing that struck me about verse 1 is the word fret. King David tells us readers NOT to fret. So, what does fret mean? According to the dictionary, fret means to be constantly or visibly worried or anxious. David is telling us NOT to get stuck in worry or anxiety. Specifically, he is telling us not to get so caught up in worry and anxiety that we show the world only anxiety and worry. This is a really good point. If we proclaim to the world that we are believers in the One True God, then it doesn’t make any sense to show the world that we are constantly worried and anxious — worry and anxiety mean we are NOT trusting God. All this does is reinforce a non-believer’s misguided notion that there really isn’t a One True God because even His own followers refuse to steadfastly believe in His abilities. This is very convicting!
OK, so what does David want us to stop fretting about and focusing on? David tells us in verse 1 to stop worrying about evildoers. He tells us to not be envious of them. In this, David means that we should not look at evildoers and think, “What does it matter if I follow God or not? When I follow all of God’s many rules, I still get beat down by life. But when I look at evildoers I see that they get money, houses, hot girls/guys, all the food they could ever want, etc. It appears that it doesn’t pay to be a good person when evil is rewarded.” Thinking thoughts like these are one of the devil’s ways to get you off track. If our focus should be on God, but all we can do is fret about evildoers, the devil has won.
Maybe you are like me — I could care less what evil people get in this life. They can have all the money and homes and power. This doesn’t bother me because I know where my true riches lie. What does bother me about evildoers is the evil, the injustice, the unfairness they perpetuate upon innocent, good, God-fearing people. I HATE that they seem to get away with absolute evil and innocent people suffer. So, it’s easy for me to get on Social Media and my various news sites and three hours later be so stressed out about all the evil and injustice that is pervasive on this earth today that I’m ready to pop. I get frustrated and angry and really, really depressed. Then my fears rear their ugly heads and before you know it, I’m snapping at my daughter or my husband for things that are absolutely crazy (they don’t know I’ve just spent three hours looking at the world instead of at God). Then I feel so guilty and stupid. And all of this bad behavior because I chose to take my eyes off God. I let the evildoers get to me. I did exactly what David says NOT to do.
The best part about Psalm 37:1-2 is verse 2. David tells us WHY we don’t need to fret. It’s because God will take care of these evil people. Soon, He will cut them down. Soon, He will cause them to wither away as if they were nothing. It’s God working in the background taking care of the BIG PICTURE issues. And how do I repay God for being AWESOME? I stress and worry and let fear in. I tell Him with my words that I trust Him, but in reality I don’t. Again, when you realize this is what you are doing in your relationship with God, verses 1 and 2 of this psalm are seriously convicting.
The takeaway — DON’T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF GOD. Not even for one second. He really is the Boss, He really is in control. He sees the bad. He knows the innocent are getting hurt. He will take care of it. These BIG PICTURE things are not for us to stress over. The only thing we need to stress over is making sure our relationship with Yahweh is SOLID. As it says in Hebrews 12, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” and everything will work out. We really have nothing to fret about!