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Don’t Worry – Just Trust.

17/12/2013

Don’t Worry, Just Trust

Text: Psalm 37:1-11
Worry is a sin! How many times have you heard that being said!  People will quote the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, where Matthew 6:25-34 has a whole section of teaching on worry.  We are taught be Christ that worry is counterproductive, and that it is self harming.  Jesus said, Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  and again,W Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

We are taught not to worry.  We have a heavenly father who cares for us.   Yet we do worry!  I worry about all sorts of things.  That’s because worry is part of our sinful nature, and we are still beset with sin, and as Christians, we will be acutely aware of sin in our lives, sin like worry, and we will regret it and want to repent of it, so that we can be forgiven.
The psalmist too has great help and encouragement for us in this area, and his teaching is quoted by Jesus himself, so it’s worth our attention too…

1. What Makes us Anxious?
The psalmist brings before us some areas of concern.
•    Wickedness in the world.  He lists specifically…

•    Evildoers. V1  people with malevolent intent.  Just plain evil.  Workers of iniquity. V1  Evil people doing bad things.
•    Wicked schemers. V7  Those who deliberately scene to bring things about that are detrimental to society, or to individuals.  manipulative people.  I’ve often looked at the changes in society, just in the last ten years or so and wondered, how did this all happen so quickly?  Who is planning all this, and who is driving forward this anti-Christian agenda?  We know that our enemies are ultimately spiritual, Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.– but are there evil men meeting somewhere, plotting the degradation of our society?

•    Financial stresses.  The burdens of everyday life, financial problems and difficulties cause us great worry.  Yet in V25, David, now perhaps in his old age and looking back over life, says, I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.  Jesus again fills this out for us in the Lord’s prayer, which he says we are to pray every day, “Give us THIS DAY our daily bread”  We are only to ask for enough for today.  What is the point therefore of envy of what others have, since one day they will have it no more?
•    Anger with others.  Anger management classes for Christians?  Should there be such a thing – yet as Christians we have all seen anger and we have all been angry at some time.  Yet anger does us no good and does nothing at all to remedy the situation that has brought it about. In fact, isn’t it true to say that sometimes we actually want to be angry! Charlie and his wee sister Mary had quarrelled. After their tea Mother tried to re-establish friendly relations. She told them of the Bible verse, “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” “Now, Charlie,” she pleaded, “are you going to let the sun go down on your wrath?”  Charlie squirmed a little. Then: “Well, how can I stop it?”
So the psalmist is realistic about us.  He knows that we will fret, worry and be anxious.  We don’t often remember that sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  J. Arthur Rank, an English executive, decided to do all his worrying on one day each week. He chose Wednesdays. When anything happened that gave him anxiety and annoyed his ulcer, he would write it down and put it in his worry box and forget about it until next Wednesday. The interesting thing was that on the following Wednesday when he opened his worry box, he found that most of the things that had disturbed him the past six days were already settled. It would have been useless to have worried about them.

2. What is the Psalmist’s advice?
The psalmist helps us in our struggle with worry…
A.    Trust in the Lord.  v3.  Trust is faith in God.  Just trust him!  It is the proper beginning of our relationship with God and it reflects in our attitude to others.  So, the psalmist tells us to trust God, and to DO GOOD.  We are saved by grace and grace expresses itself in  our conduct.  God wants us to trust him and him alone.  Trust in yourself, and you are doomed to disappointment; trust in your friends, and they will die and leave you; trust in money, and you may have it taken from you; trust in reputation, and some slanderous tongue may blast it; but trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity.—D. L. Moody.
B.    Delight in the Lord.  v4.  People do NOT, in their sinful state, regard God as delightful or desirable.  I had a sad time recently..  I had tried to help a young couple who had just oat their wee baby.  I explained to them very quietly and carefully that their child was in heaven because Jesus had died for us on the cross, and that he said, “Suffer the little children to come to me…”  They listened politely, and then said that they referred to believe that their baby was an angel, looking down on them and that they would see him in the rays of the sun…  Delight themselves in nonsense, and reject the Lord.  The Christian is changed from all of that worldly superstition and false belief – the Christian will have changed interests – we delight ourselves in the Lord.  The God we know in Jesus is delightful to us.  He consumes us with delight and joy.  We call the Sabbath a delight! Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: We delight in his word, Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it – in his will, in his law. Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And the more we live for him the better we know him and the more we delight in him.
C.    Commit your way to the Lord.  v5.  Learn to love with God we have already trusted.  To commit to the Lord is not a saving injunction, (BL was annoyed with his minister, who constantly spoke of people ‘committing themselves’.  – He said to him, people won’t commit themselves, or ‘make a commitment’ they need to be saved)  Christians however, need to learn to live every day with the Lord who had committed himself to them.  Learning about his presence, and speaking with him in prayer, and listening to his voice in His word…  Casting all our care upon him, knowing that he cares for us.  1 Peter 5:7, cf Psalm 37:5.  Was Peter quoting the Psalm?  The more we commit our way to the Lord, the more we realise that the One who cares for us is equal to all our circumstances.
D.    Be still before the Lord. v7 To be still before the Lord, is to quieten ourselves and wait patiently for him, like the psalmist said in Psalm 40. The psalmist’s answer to the wickedness of this world is just to wait on God, war on his time, wait on his judgement, wait on his timing.  The wickedness of this world will be overthrown in God’s good time.  Psalm 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

E.    Calm down. v8.  Some commentators think this might be implying anger against God.  Sometimes we can look at our situations and our circumstances and the wickedness of the world and they become angry – they ask, ‘how can God let this happen?’  But anger against God, or against others, or even anger with ourselves, – it is better for us to retain what James Montgomery Boice calls, “a settled and calm frame of mind because of trusting God.”   Just stay calm, and pray that God will give you a calmness of heart in the midst of the storm.  A hymn writer wrote:

Dear Lord and Father of mankind, Forgive our foolish ways! Reclothe us in our rightful mind, In purer lives Thy service find, In deeper reverence, praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard Beside the Syrian sea The gracious calling of the Lord, Let us, like them, without a word Rise up and follow Thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee! O calm of hills above, Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee The silence of eternity Interpreted by love!
With that deep hush subduing all Our words and works that drown The tender whisper of Thy call, As noiseless let Thy blessing fall As fell Thy manna down.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness, Till all our strivings cease; Take from our souls the strain and stress, And let our ordered lives confess The beauty of Thy peace.

One Comment
  1. stephen cummings permalink

    Many thanks for this Bob very helpful remember Gods timing is prefect.
    May God continue to bless you in his service.

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