“Blessings invite us to enjoy God, and sufferings invite us to really know God and trust Him.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today –August 9, 2023
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…Do not fret–it only causes harm. Psalm 37:7-8, NKJV
My momma, in her matter-of-fact manner, would sometimes say to her three sons, “Can’t fret over that, boys.” She might have been referring to the weather, the clothes we wore, or whatever hardship we might be facing. In Momma’s country, common sense way, she meant, in today’s terms, “chill out, focus on what you can change, and don’t worry about people and things you have no control over.” My momma was expressing two of Jesus’ famous words, “Don’t worry” (Matthew 6:25). Yet, I forget momma and Jesus, and I sometimes fret and worry. Why? Because I forget what I’m responsible for and what the Lord is responsible for. I am to focus on today, full of its own challenges and opportunities for good, and God will handle the murky matters, those issues, and people that call me out into the future with the urgent invitation for me to fret.
David had his own opportunities to fret…a jealous adversary, a broken family, and fear of the future, yet in his emotionally raw reflections in Psalm 37, he reminds himself and his readers of the wisdom and faith to rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him and to cease fretting, for it only causes harm. Comforting and wise words in real-time. Rest in the middle of upheaval is a gift for followers of Jesus. His yoke of trust brings a peace that passes our worldly way of thinking and instead reminds us that we are walking with our Savior, friend, and Lord. Fretting causes harm and, in some versions of Scripture, translates as leading to evil. Whether harm or evil as an outcome, fretting or worrying is to be avoided and replaced with trust, rest and waiting.
Oswald Chambers, the gifted devotional writer of the late 1800s and early 1900s, writes about fretting and resting,
Fretting means getting ourselves “out of joint” mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say, “Do not fret,” but something very different to have such a nature that you find yourself unable to fret. It’s easy to say, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7) until our own little world is turned upside down and we are forced to live in confusion and agony like so many other people. Is it possible to “rest in the Lord” then? If this “Do not” doesn’t work there, then it will not work anywhere. This “Do not” must work during our days of difficulty and uncertainty, as well as our peaceful days, or it will never work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work for anyone else. Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself.
Are you trusting in your unchanging Lord, or are you striving in your ever-changing circumstances? Dependence on God governs your ability to rest and wait on God. Rest is that state of mind free of worry, with a heart erupting in gratitude. Being able to bless the Lord in song, “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, bless His holy name,” and to praise Him with a genuinely thankful heart, “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me.” Peace is the fruit of praise. And, as you wait, you grow in grace in ways you have never experienced, only read about or heard other seasoned saints talk about in a tone of sacred awe how personal is the love of their Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Fretting only forfeits the right to see, hear and experience God in ways that are not your ways, while patient trust waits and rests with the reassurance that the Lord is at work. Glance at what’s around you, then intently gaze on God. Blessings invite us to enjoy God, and sufferings invite us to really know God and trust Him.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:1-2, NKJV).
Heavenly Father, my heart gazes on your goodness as I trust, rest, and wait on you through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, Amen.
What situation or person do I need to see with eyes of empathy while trusting to work all things out for His good purposes?
Hillsong Young and Free: Peace
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