Psalms 37: How to Delight In and Trust God
Life is a series of seasons. One thing I love about the Word of God is that it is relevant in each and every one of those seasons. I love that it is living and active! I love that what I read today, God will use to meet me where I am today. He will use it to speak to me each and every time I come earnestly seeking Him; each time I come listening. Several nights ago, Psalm 37 was part of my daily Bible reading plan and my goodness, did it ever speak to me! Ever since that night I have been going back to it, reading it, meditating on it, and praying these words over my life. God has used it to calm my anxious heart and reassure me of His presence, His loving care, His promises, His power, and His heart. Let’s walk through some of what He’s been teaching me.
Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
My life is in crisis right now. I often don’t really know what is true and what is not. I find myself trying to figure out if my love is genuinely repentant and really does want to change as much as it seems he does, or if this is just another deception. Is my love wicked, or is he tormented by the wicked?
The problem is, I can’t see his heart, so I can’t really know. It all seems so genuine, and most of the time I believe that it is…but then that fear creeps in. These verses speak to that fear. They calm that fear.
Because if it is false, if my love is deceiving me and he is genuinely wicked, God CAN see that. He does see the heart. And I can rest in His ability to resolve the situation justly. And if my love is sincere, and he really is seeking God and seeking change, then the “wicked” forces of evil that hunt us are the ones who will soon fade away and wither. Either way, God’s got it handled.
Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
My role in this situation is simple. (In theory anyway.) I need to trust in the Lord and do good. I need to take delight in Him.
Yeah, not so much. Not when life is a roller coaster ride through hell; but the command does not come with caveats.
Thankfully, God doesn’t change when circumstances change. He is the same great God today that He was on my wedding day, or the day our first miracle was born. What delighted me about Him on the good days is still true of Him today.
Something I like to do in order to meditate on Him – His names, His character, and His attributes is to go through the alphabet and think of one word that describes God that starts with each letter and then thank Him or praise Him for each thing. It’s silly, but effective. I often find myself overwhelmed by who He is after only a few letters! This helps me to delight in Him, and as I delight in Him, I find that my desires align with His will. Just like He promises!God doesn't change when circumstances change. He is the same great God today that He was on my wedding day, or the day our first miracle was born. What delighted me about Him on the good days is still true of Him today. Click To Tweet
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
We’re having to make a lot of decisions right now. Big decisions! And many of those decisions end up falling to me these days. I can begin to feel overwhelmed, even paralyzed by that weight. What if I choose the wrong thing? What if we start moving forward and then I find out a year or more down the road that things have gone wrong again?
What if I find that if I had made a different decision right now we’d have had better results? These thoughts plague my mind, but they really don’t need to. They are the fruits of a heart that doesn’t trust God like it should.
As I repeat this verse over and over to myself I find the reassurance I need to simply pray and hand each of those decisions over to my Heavenly Father. To commit them to Him. To say, “not my will, but Yours be done.” I am not exaggerating when I say that every single time I’ve done that the decision has become crystal clear and I’ve had complete peace in making it.
His promises never fail. When He says he will help you if you simply trust Him, it’s true! He will! Every time!
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
BE STILL in the presence of the Lord??? Me? Be still? That’s a tough one. I like to take charge and do what needs done. I like to see results.
Wait patiently for Him to act? Seriously?
That’s really difficult! Sometimes it feels like He doesn’t understand how urgent my situation feels. I can even talk myself into thinking things like, “God helps those who help themselves.” Which you will NOT find in Scripture, by the way. No, what you WILL find in scripture is this sweet little nugget: “Be still… wait PATIENTLY for Him to act. Don’t worry…” Yikes.
All I can do here is fall on my knees before him and ask for help. “Lord, quiet my heart!”
Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
Anger is a very real part of this process! I am often angry.
Angry about what has been taken from me. Angry that I believed the lies. Angry that there wasn’t anyone looking out for me. Angry that people can be so hurtful. Angry that I have to deal with this. Just angry!
I do think, based on other scriptures, that some of that anger is okay, even righteous. Rage, however, is never okay. And another verse tells us, “In your anger, do not sin…” As it says here, do not lose your temper.
The issue here is a loss of control. An anger that is a reaction (out of control) rather than a response. It’s easy to do. I am a sinner! I want to, (and have) scream and throw things and hit him! But that only leads to harm.
Once again, the answer is the same as before: trust in the Lord! Let Him deal with the dispensing of justice. He is much more capable!
Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.
The lowly will possess the land
and will live in peace and prosperity.
See? He is much more capable of dispensing justice than I am! I’m looking forward to the day when I will be able to look at my life and see that the “wicked” have disappeared. The day the issues that seem to consume our entire lives right now will be a thing of the past. A thing that, I pray, God will have used to bring glory to His name. I pray He will have used it all to make something beautiful! When that day comes, I pray our marriage will be at peace and will be prospering!
“Dear God, let it be! Keep Your promise! Get rid of the wicked. Give us peace and prosperity!”
The wicked plot against the godly;
they snarl at them in defiance.
But the Lord just laughs,
for he sees their day of judgment coming.
The wicked draw their swords
and string their bows
to kill the poor and the oppressed,
to slaughter those who do right.
But their swords will stab their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
Oh how I pray that the weapons that have been used against me and against my love will be turned against the evil ones that wield them! That my great God, who laughs at the plots of the enemy, will come to our rescue quickly and will break their bows and set us free from their oppression!
It is better to be godly and have little
than to be evil and rich.
For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
but the Lord takes care of the godly.
Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent,
and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
They will not be disgraced in hard times;
even in famine they will have more than enough.
But the wicked will die.
The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field—
they will disappear like smoke.
The wicked borrow and never repay,
but the godly are generous givers.
Those the Lord blesses will possess the land,
but those he curses will die.
God is so faithful and these verses are so true! No matter what we’ve gone through, He always provides what we need. His care is always more than enough! I would rather live under His care forever and be given “little” than to do life in my own strength, believing that I am prospering only to find when it’s all said and done that those riches amount to nothing. That I am lost!
“Thank you Lord, for Your care and for Your salvation!”No matter what, God always provides what we need. His care is always more than enough! I would rather live under His care forever and be given little than to do life on my own, only to find that I am lost! Click To Tweet
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.
The Lord delights in every detail of our lives! That’s what it said! That makes me happy. My weary soul takes such great comfort in knowing there is someone out there who DELIGHTS in me; in every detail of my life. Not just someone, the God of the universe delights in the details of my life! What joy there is in that truth!
I love to imagine my hand firmly grasped by my strong Heavenly Father. I love to think of this phase as one giant stumble, and to picture His hand lifting me in the air like a toddler holding onto her daddy’s hand.
“Lord keep us from falling, as You have promised. Direct our steps, hold us securely in Your loving hand!”
Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread.
The godly always give generous loans to others,
and their children are a blessing.
Oh how these verses make my heart sing! One of my greatest fears in all of this is that it will hurt our children in a way that causes them to turn from God. I plead with Him to do the opposite of that. To use this situation to draw them closer to Him. They have already been such a blessing to me, but I want them to continue to be a blessing! I want them to honor God with their lives and follow hard after Him.
“Dear God, as we seek You and follow You in this situation, don’t abandon us, make our children a blessing!”
Turn from evil and do good,
and you will live in the land forever.
For the Lord loves justice,
and he will never abandon the godly.
He will keep them safe forever,
but the children of the wicked will die.
The godly will possess the land
and will live there forever.
The godly offer good counsel;
they teach right from wrong.
They have made God’s law their own,
so they will never slip from his path.
So much hope for us and especially for my love here. God is so quick to forgive! May my love truly turn from the evil that he has chosen for too long and do good! May the Lord honor that and give him justice and stay by his side and help him fight. May He never abandon us in this fight, but keep us safe forever! May we soon “posses the land” of a healthy and God-honoring marriage. And after that, I pray that God will use us to help others. To offer good counsel, and teach right from wrong! I pray that we will have both made God’s law our own and in doing so that we will never again slip from His path!
“Dear God, let it be so!”
The wicked wait in ambush for the godly,
looking for an excuse to kill them.
But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed
or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.
Put your hope in the Lord.
Travel steadily along his path.
He will honor you by giving you the land.
You will see the wicked destroyed.
I know that the temptations and desires that have plagued my love continue to wait in ambush for him. They want to kill him. They want to kill us both!
But God’s Word makes a promise here: He WILL NOT let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned! If my love is repentant, then God promises to rescue him. We need only to put our hope in Him. To surrender the attempts to do this in our own strength and to instead travel steadily (STEADILY!) along the path God sets before us.
That steadily is the hard part isn’t it? It’s easy to start down that path with gusto when life is in crisis… but what is required here is a steady pace along that path. The promise is that doing so will be honored with the destruction of the wicked!
“Dear God, keep Your promise! As we seek You and follow You and put our hope in You, give us the land, destroy the wicked forces that seek to bring us down!”
I have seen wicked and ruthless people
flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
But when I looked again, they were gone!
Though I searched for them, I could not find them!
Look at those who are honest and good,
for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
But the rebellious will be destroyed;
they have no future.
The Lord rescues the godly;
he is their fortress in times of trouble.
The Lord helps them,
rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them,
and they find shelter in him.
“Lord, I am coming to You for shelter! Save us. Let us look back years from now and find that “the wicked” are gone, a thing of the past. Help us to be honest and good and give us a wonderful future. Destroy the rebellion within us so that we will not be destroyed by our rebellion! We are in a time of trouble, God. Be our mighty fortress. Help us. Rescue us! In Jesus’s mighty name, AMEN!”
**How about you? How did this passage encourage you? Let us know in the comments below!
***Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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