Active Faith

The verbs in the first few verses of Psalm 37 (one of my favorites) stand out to me:

Fret not

Trust in the Lord

Do good

Delight yourself in the Lord

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him

Be still before the Lord

Wait patiently for him

Fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath

Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

The repetition of “fret not” indicates the Israelites were in a situation that could cause them to fret, namely, the encroachments and threats of the wicked. Later in the chapter God assures them that He will take care of them, provide for them, protect them. Their faith was not passivity nor naiveté, not sticking their heads in the sand: rather, it was characterized by active trust, patient waiting (v. 7), and focusing on doing good to others (v. 3).

Peace is a part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), but we’re also to “keep in step with the Spirit” (v. 25). We can work against peace of heart by fretting, magnifying the problems, spending too much time with swirling, fearful thoughts. Or we can work with God to promote peace of heart by focusing on Him, committing our way to Him, delighting in Him, trusting Him to take care of the issues, and getting out of our own heads to see what we can do for others.

It’s counterintuitive to pray for or expect peace of heart without taking the means God provided to take our thoughts captive. When we find ourselves fretting, fearful, downcast, we seek God and remind ourselves of His truth in His Word.

(Sharing with Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Monday, Tell His Story, Woman to Woman Word-filled Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Porch Stories, Faith on Fire)

 

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18 thoughts on “Active Faith

  1. Unfortunately I’m very good at fretting. I love Psalm 37 also. I tried to memorize it once, but it was difficult. Maybe I’ll try again one day. It contains such valuable truths about who God is.

  2. I love the word”fret”. Not sure why but I use it with my sons sometimes. Also, there is something so powerful about “commit to the Lord”. It speaks to me all the time. Thank you for sharing at #TellHisStory.

  3. “When we find ourselves fretting, fearful, downcast, we seek God and remind ourselves of His truth in His Word.” Amen! Blessings to you, Barbara!

  4. I was wondering if you could send something to me to help me with loss. My son was killed 3 years ago and I have been trying to get it together, but instead of it getting easier it’s getting harder. I’m just dieing in side a little more every day.

    • I am so sorry, Iris. I think the death of a child is one of the worst things a parent has to go through. I haven’t experienced this myself, but losing my mother at what to us seemed way too early was hard. But losing a child would be so much worse. One verse that someone shared with me after the loss of my mother was psalm 94:19: “In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” That especially ministered to me, plus the thought that a loving God is in charge of our lives. We don’t always understand why He allows what He allows, but we can trust He has His purposes. You might find some fellowship at a blog called Especially Heather: http://especiallyheather.com/. Her daughter passed away from cancer, a different situation than your son’s. but still, the loss of a child is wrenching.

      I saw you left an email address, so I will write you about sending to you a copy of a little booklet I have called “Facing the Death of Someone You Love” by Elisabeth Elliot. I considered her my mentor from afar through her books for years.

      Praying for you.

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