"Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart"
Have you ever asked the age-old question, "Why do bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people? Have you looked at your circumstances and thought, "why me?" Have you envied what others have and wondered why you always end up feeling like you come up short in one way or another? Have you felt undercompensated while people that are seemily undeserving are overcompensated?
I can assure you that you are not alone in your questions. I have muttered the same things at times in my life. My hope here is to bring clarity and reassurance to you without belittling or diminishing the hurt or pain you may be experiencing at this moment. Hurt, pain, devastation, and loss are emotions that unfortunately, to some degree, we have all lived through. I don't have a magic solution to prevent pain and loss, I don't have the perfect answer to remove the devastation of your current tragedy. I can't offer you solutions to reverse the pains of the past. But what I can do is point you towards the path where I have found joy.
Psalm 37 tells us clearly not to fret. Don't worry, don't stress, don't get over-heated, and don't exhaust your energy over evildoers. Who are evildoers? Quite simply put; they are people who walk opposite of the ways of the Lord. They indulge in their sinful nature, and they rely on that nature to bring them the desires of their heart. We can find ourselves frustrated when we see them prospering in ways we had hoped for. The truth her is that if prosperity exists with them, it is only temporary... it's earthly, and it will fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.
"Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will fade like the grass and wither like the green herb."
This fretting is harmful to us as believers because it distracts us from focusing on the faithfulness of God. It causes us to envy the temporary pleasures that the flesh makes so readily available to us. God does not want us to envy another person, and he most definitley doesn't want us to envy the worldly gains of an unbeliever. In addition,this fretting also hinders our ability to rest and be still in God's plan for our lives.
I don't mean to insinuate that we should not concern ourselves with ones who are lost or walking in darkness. As believers, this should burden and break our hearts. It is not God's plan that any should perish but that all should come to a place of repentance and receive salvation in Christ. Praying, encouraging, and setting positive examples are things that we should strive to do as believers. However, setting our focus on the earthly gains of the ones who haven't found favor in the eyes of the Lord doesn't bring about change in their situation. It does, however, obstruct our view of God and all of His goodness. In addition to this, please don't hear me say we should not be heartbroken when we see our brothers and sisters in Christ on a dark path that they had no business being on. This should bring us to our knees in prayer to our Father. But fretting over it? Nope, fretting won't change it. In fact, fretting can actually amplify the negative impacts of a situation gone wrong. So, what do we do?
"Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
We lay it at the feet of our risen Savior, and we trust in His sovereignty, strength, power, and faithfulness. Trusting and fretting are on opposite planes. They don't belong together, and truthfully, they don't coincide. Trusting in the Lord doesn't mean that we trust IF everything turns out just as we had expected or hoped for. Trusting in the Lord isn't conditional to our situation or circumstances. Trusting in His faithfulness is saying, "Lord, even if all of this life turns out opposite of what I had hoped for, I will live a life that honors you and I will trust you regardless." How do we live a life that honors Him?
"Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Before we go any further, consider taking a moment to ask yourself this question:
"What are the desires of my heart?"
The answers to this question change everything.
It changes how we begin and end our days.
It changes our motives for every moment.
It changes our response to unfortunate situations or circumstances.
It changes our total outlook on life.
Is your delight in your accomplishments, accreditations, celebrations, or victories that offer earthly gains, or is your delight in the Lord? Can you celebrate these things and enjoy them? Absolutely! We are given gifts by God to enjoy, but they are not to be the utmost desires of our hearts. Do your desires come from serving and living for yourself and your temporary earthly fulfillment or are your desires in line with the Lord? So, how do you delight in Him? You know Him and you know him well. You prioritize your day around the growth of that relationship. It isn't a priority of your day, it should be THE priority of your day. That time gives you the ability to honor Him and to do good in His eyes. This relationship you have with Jesus gives you peace to rest in His faithfulness. This time with Him equips you with the ability to delight in His ways and it also allows Him to fill your heart with His unending goodness.
We are not perfect, in fact, if you're like me you are far from it. We were born into a sinful world, with a serious sin nature that craves the desires of the flesh. Our hope is only in Christ. My challenge to you today is that you would examine your heart and your life. When I say examine, I mean to really dig deep and examine your life. Ask the Lord to reveal any areas of your life that you are delighting in the world over Him. If you have never allowed God to be your desire and what you crave the most, I pray that you would allow Him to meet you exactly where you are. If you have ridden the fence too long, trying to find your joy in the pleasures of this world combined with a little bit of Jesus when you need Him, I encourage you today to jump off that fence, run towards King Jesus and surrender your life to him fully and completely in a way that maybe you have never done before. This is where you find the goodness in faith in Jesus over fretting over the accumulations of others. Here is where He offers you true joy.
Spiritual Disciplines have been such a ginormous part of my growth in Christ. These disciplines changed my daily walk with the Lord and have taught me about reliance and dependence on Him! My prayer is that this space can help deepen your knowledge and understanding by teaching you to lean in closer to God. With that being said, my goal is to incorporate these disciplines slowly so that you can gain a clear picture and understanding of each one as well as learn how to incorporate them into your daily walk with the Lord. Here is a list of the 8 disciplines that we will cover. If these disciplines are already a regular part of your day, now is a great opportunity to reach out to a friend that could use some help learning and growing.
Put simply, evangelism is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others for the purpose of them obtaining an understanding of God and allowing that knowledge to lead them to a place of salvation. This can be a tough one for most people. It puts us in a place of vulnerability when we share the things that are closest to our hearts. However, our love for people should move us to a place where our hearts desire to share the best news they will ever hear on this earth... the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This week's Bible Study:
MONDAY: Psalm 37-38 tHURSDAY: Psalm 43-44
TUESDAY: Psalm 39-40 Friday: Psalm 45-46
WEDNESDAY: Psalm 41-42 Saturday: Psalm 47-48
Sunday: Psalm 49-50
This week's verse to
memorize and meditate on:
Tips and challenges this week:
Understand fully the path to Salvation in Christ. If you are looking for a clear picture of how to share the Gospel with someone, The Romans Road is a great place to start.
Memorize scripture so that the Holy Spirit can use it at the time someone may need to hear it.
Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel
Remember the Great Commission that Jesus gave to His disciples.
It is not our job to offer salvation to someone. That is only done through Christ. It is our job, however to share the Truth of Christ and point them towards the one that can save their souls from spending eternity seperated from the one true GOD!
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Private Facebook Discussion Group
Would you like to dig a little deeper into your weekly reading and spiritual disciplines? Join our Facebook group where we learn, grow and encourage one another.
If you have questions or things that you don't understand, please email them to me and I will add them to the Q&A section. I can't promise you that I will have all of the answers, but I can promise I will do my best to find them if I don't have them.
Growing in God
Would you like a tool to encourage your growth in God? Check out my newly released 12-month spiritual disciplines book/journal. This journal will give you a brief understanding of 8 tangible spiritual disciplines as well as give you a space to implement these disciplines into your daily walk with God.
Are you searching for an accountability partner or a group? A person that can encourage you in your walk with the Lord? joyfully HIS has made this option availble to you. Scan the QR code for more information or to sign up. Accountability partners will be matched up this Friday, April 29th.