Psalm 37 begins with a profound admonition, “Fret not.” To fret means to cause to suffer emotional wear and tear: trouble persistently: vex, torment, worry, according to Webster’s dictionary. We need to be reminded not to fret in times like these, because there seems to be plenty to worry about. Christians worry about evildoers, workers of iniquity [Ps 37:1], and men who bring wicked devices to pass [Ps 37:7]. The problem is, “How do we fret not?” To keep from fretting, you must:
Trust in the Lord – Ps 37:3 – you can’t do anything about the direction the world is heading. The Lord said that in the last days perilous times shall come. He didn’t do anything to stop these times and you can’t do anything to stop these times. They are here and they are here to stay until Jesus comes. As a matter of fact, they’re going to get worse. Therefore, your best option is to quit worrying and start trusting. The one person in the universe who can take care of you if “all hell breaks loose” is the Lord. He took care of the Jews in the wilderness, he took care of the widow Ruth, he took care of Elijah in the drought, he took care of Daniel in the lion’s den and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. He can take care of you. But you must trust him. And if you’re fretting, you’re not trusting.
Delight in the Lord – Ps 37:4 – there is a peculiar trait in humans, we have a tendency to be drawn to disaster. You rubber neck when you pass an accident. You search the internet for video whenever there is a natural disaster. You watch movies about “shoot ‘em up and blow ‘em up.” And you read and watch the news looking for something bad that happened. Bad news sells. Do you realize what’s going on? You delight in the very things that cause you to fret. And our text says that to keep from fretting you must delight in the Lord. To delight in the Lord is to have or take great satisfaction or pleasure in him. The best way to do that is to turn off all the input that is causing you to fret and turn on all the input that will cause you to delight in the Lord. And then delight in the Lord.
Commit to the Lord – Ps 37:5 – you need to be committed to him. When you trust the Lord and delight in him he will take you along a way that is pleasing to him. You need to commit your way unto him. That way when trouble is all around you, you can stay the course. When Paul and Silas went to Philippi, they ran into trouble. While in prison, since they were committed to the Lord, they prayed and sang praises. As Paul said, “Be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,” [1 Cor 15:58]. Paul never faltered in spite of the things he endured in the ministry [2 Cor 11:23-30]. It’s like the old adage says, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Rest in the Lord – Ps 37:7 – if you are really doing the first three things you will be able to rest in the Lord. Jesus slept in the boat during a raging storm. Bad news keeps you tense and takes away your sleep. Good news cheers your heart and allows you to rest. Bible reading, good music, and prayer all result in rest. How has fretting and losing sleep ever improved the difficulties you have faced? When you rest in the Lord, it’s like flying in a commercial aircraft. You can’t fly the plane so you just sleep in your seat.
Wait on the Lord – Ps 37:7, 9 – you aren’t going to change God’s timetable one bit. So, you must learn to wait on him. Impatience keeps you tense and irritable. Fear causes you to fret. When you wait on the Lord and you are doing the other four things then there is no need to fret. When God is ready, Jesus will return. When God is ready he’ll take care of a problem that may be plaguing you. In the meantime, just keep your eyes on the Lord.
Conclusion: David said, “Fret not,” and then he gave five simple things you can do to keep from fretting. Do them!!