Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways…Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it only leads to evil.
If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand…For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones..The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps and delivers them; he saves them, because they take refuge in him.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, Trust in God; trust also in me..Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid….In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world..
(Jn 14.1&27, 16.33)
Lord God, hear my prayer today…I am being fretted away by sorrow and trouble as wind and sand fret away the rocks until they collapse and are no more.
Lord God, hear my prayer today….I am being distressed by evil and human wickedness as the smooth polish of fine wood is destroyed by sandpaper and rough handling.
Lord God, hear my prayer today… I am being robbed of all my peace by the aggravation of unquiet thoughts, as the traveller is rendered furious by assault of biting insects.
Have mercy on your servant in this, her distress, as she hears your command, ‘Do not fret’, and would seek to obey it.
How should we deal with these continual pressures which bear upon us in this sin-sick world of ours? By what means can we resist this erosion of spirit and hope? We choose to make full use of the protection which God in his mercy has abundantly provided for his children. We are not passive victims of this process, but active agents with(God’s) power to change the situation, and the psalmist lays out clearly – both what we should do, and what we can confidently expect God to do for us!
- Trust in the Lord, and do good – choose to believe and then act on what we believe.
- Delight in the Lord – making his glory, power, love and goodness our chief source of joy and the focus of our thoughts.
- Commit our way to the Lord – handing over rule of our lives to the One who knows and does all things well.
- Be still and wait before the Lord – his timing is perfect and it is his power which will achieve his purposes. He longs for our worship, not our advice or fussing and rushing about!
- Turn from wrath – choosing to give to the God of Justice, the business of judging and carrying out the appropriate sentence; accepting that we cannot judge aright, and are ourselves forgiven sinners.
- Take refuge in God – literally hiding ourselves, clothing ourselves in his protection as the secure wall we need.
And what does God undertake to do for those whom He loves?
- God will fulfill the desires which arise in us as we rest in him.
- God will display his righteousness in us, we shall shine as the sun at dawn because of his glory and strength at work in transforming us into the likeness of Christ
- God will keep us from falling, steadying our steps as we lean on him.
- God will be ever-present with us in love, delivering us from sin, protecting us from evil.
Jesus assured his disciples on the night before he died that their peace would be secure because the world which would seek to trouble them had been overcome. The One who came as light into our darkness has triumphed over it – that light CANNOT be quenched, and we stand in that light, clothed in that victory.
Thank you Father, that you have done all things needful, and that as I trust in you, I am at peace. Be glorified in my life, as your strength and love shield me from all that would wear me out and break my spirit. I will rest in you and be still.