Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018.05.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 37:3-11

Questions for Littles: Whom should we trust (v3a)? What should we do? When they lived in the promised land, what were they feeding on (v3b)? In what (Whom!) shall we delight ourselves (v4a)? If He is our delight, then what will we receive (v4b)? In whom are we to trust (v5)? What does He bring forth if we trust in Him (v6)? What three commands in v7 describe what it means to trust Him? What three things does v8 identify as the opposite of trusting in Him? What will happen to evildoers (v9a, 10)? What will happen to those who meekly wait upon the Lord (v9b, 11)? 
This week’s Prayer for Help, Prayer of Confession, and Assurance of the Gospel all come from Psalm 37:3-11.

There are so many deceivers out there who appeal to our desire to fulfill our own pleasures and our own plans. But that’s exactly the opposite of what our Scripture passage teaches us.

“The Lord will give me the desires of my heart!” That’s what we all want to hear, right? But what exactly are those desires? Earlier in v4, those desires are pre-defined: “Delight yourself in the Lord.” What desires will He give me? Desire for Him Himself!

How about the idea that the Lord gives me strength and ability to accomplish my grand plans for my life? “He shall bring it to pass”! But what is He bringing to pass? Earlier in v5, He makes it clear that this is a promise that God will fulfill His plans, not ours. We entrust ourselves to Him and His plan.

So He generally tells us that He will give us Himself and that He will carry out His plans. But, what specifically does He plan to give us? Something that He knows is infinitely valuable, but we would not value if His grace hasn’t changed our hearts: righteousness.

Righteousness is a glorious gift, because God is perfectly just. If He doesn’t give us righteousness, then His justice will ultimately demand our destruction, and we cannot ultimately receive any other blessing.

So, how do we know if we are trusting in the Lord? What does that trust look like? v7 contains the answer: trusting looks like resting. Those who think that everything depends upon them wear themselves out trying to make happen whatever they want to happen. Those who know that it all depends upon the Lord do not wear themselves out trying to force things their way. They rest. They rest in Him.

Trusting the Lord also looks like waiting patiently. If we already know that the Lord is making all things work out according to His perfect plan for us, we don’t need to see the fruit of it right away. We can wait. Patiently.

There are, however, some dead giveaways for weak faith. At the top of the list? Anger and wrath. If we’re easily riled up, that shows that we don’t have confidence in what the Lord is doing. And, of course, fretting. How can we worry and stress over the future if we know that it’s in the Lord’s hands?

Dear reader, you and I both just reflected upon how easily we are angered and how easily we fret, and we have the same place to go for help. The Lord Himself will help our unbelief! Yes, our faith is weak. But, when we find that we don’t trust God enough, we can still trust Him to help us trust Him!
What situation is testing your trust? What do you do, if you’re trusting God to help you trust?
Suggested songs: ARP37A “Do Not Be Angry” or HB374 “Be Still My Soul; the Lord Is on Thy Side”

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