“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who propers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm.” – Pslam 37:3-8
There is so much amazing stuff packed into these verses.
When Israel traveled from Egypt and traveled through the wilderness, they ran into obstacles in their journey. Lack of water and food for starters. They struggled to trust God for their basic provisions. From a human perspective, it can be understanding that they struggled. But God had just opened up the Red Sea. He had proved Himself with the ten plagues in Egypt, where Pharaoh eventually drove out the people. God wanted them to trust in Him.
So what would the correct response would have been instead of complaining. To wait on God.
Trusting and waiting. Faith and patience. These are keys to living the Christian life.
So here are a few tips from this passage to help us today when we are tempted to strike out on our own or to open our mouth in negativity and complaining:
- Rest in the Lord. I recently heard someone describing how God rested on the seventh day of creation. Man was created on the sixth day, because man as well was meant to enter into that same rest. Since creation, God has never created another tree, or bird, or animal. Everything that was needed to not only create, but to sustain creation, was done on the five days before mankind was created. Adam and Eve had things to do, but not work in the sense that we experience today. They would have to pick their food, but we read in Genesis that weeds and thorns did not exist until after sin. It was sin that brought in toil and slavery to the land. To some degree, we will have to face all this as long as we live on earth, but as far as that driving pressure on the inside, God calls us to rest. In fact, Jesus tells us not to even worry about food or clothing. If we are doing what He is asked of us, He promises that He will look out for these items of necessity. That is where faith comes in. We can all create excuses for our unbelief or give stories of people we heard of where God did not provide…or maybe we have stories where we think God failed us. This is what Israel did. God wanted them to trust and rest. Hebrews 3-4 tell us that it was unbelief why they never entered that rest. If we want to see God work in greater ways, we need to build our trust in God on His Word and what He says about Himself and not experience, and that only comes by long hours in His Word and in prayer.
- Wait Patiently for Him. Waiting is about maintaining that rest. We can wait for God to move only when we truly believe that He will come through for us. That is where faith is our friend. It has been said, the enemy of faith can be fear, and fear is really just unbelief.
- Do not fret because of others. Comparing is a terrible thing. Whether it is our looks, abilities, or financial status, the Bible warns us about comparing. The answer to struggles with comparing is, first, remind yourself that there is no favorites in God’s heart and you are totally and passionately loved as you are, and secondly, bless and pray for those who intimate you. See gossip and comparing for it is: envy and jealousy. And know God is no more in love with them than you, because you cannot earn His love or affection. He gives it freely.
- Don’t give in to anger and do not fret. Why? It leads to trouble. The fruit of unbelief is stress, worry, and fretting. This is where most of the world, including Christian world lives. How do we change? I think the key lies earlier in the passage. “Feed on His faithfulness.” I am currently learning how to do that. Put the prayer list and burdens away, and think about God and how good He is today!