We live in troublesome times. We don’t always understand what’s going on around us. In times like these do you tend to fret? Three times in Psalm 37:1-9 the psalmist says: “Do not fret!”
In verse 1 he warns, “Do not fret because of evil men.” The rest of the verse warns, “Do not…be envious of those who do wrong.” Evil men can make your life difficult. They might get away with doing what is wrong, and you might be tempted to do the same. You might think you’re missing out on something, like the thrill of pulling off something that is wrong. Don’t go there. Ill conceived short term thrills don’t last.
In verse 7 he warns, “Do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Comparing outcomes is generally subjective. Success is not all it’s cranked up to be. When you think you are being short changed, even though you do what is right, in contrast to someone who is seemingly succeeding, even though they do what is wrong, don’t fret. You’re not seeing the whole picture. You might never see the whole picture. Fretting won’t help.
In fact, the psalmist warns in verse 8, “Do not fret – it leads only to evil.” There is an implicit impulse triggered by fretting – you leave yourself open to doing what is evil.
You might say, “I can’t stop fretting. That’s just who I am.” Let me just say, God never tells you to do something you are incapable of doing. In your own strength you might not be able to obey. But if you hope in the Lord He promises to bless you. Compare Philippians 4:13. More on this in our next visit.