You mad, bro?
It’s weird. I’m not sure what to say. Except that I’ve known for a couple of months now that THIS needs to be written. It’s a simple message from Psalm 37 in the Bible:
I’ve been reading through Psalms, mostly because I was in a spiritual rut and needed SOMETHING to pull me out, and if I know anything about the Bible at all, I know the Psalms are laced with sad songs that end happy. So I went there.
The thing is, I’m way past chapter 37 at this point but can’t shake the Spirit of God calling me back to its message: Fret not.
I thought “fret” meant “worry.” Like here we go, “Don’t worry, be happy”, blah blah blah — easier sung than done! But turns out “fret” here doesn’t mean what I thought. It means “hot anger” or “to be furious”. It’s actually a picture of “boiling.” Yikes.
And specifically it’s anger over what someone else, someone mean, someone wrong, someone entirely wicked, has done or is doing, and worse, gotten away with. And maybe even more gut-grabbing, this horrible person has continued to prosper. Really?
Can you feel that?
It is infuriating! It is so hard to understand how some people seem to get away with all kinds of AWFUL: Awful behavior, terrible decisions, unjust actions, lies, oh, the lies! But they do.
Or do they?
This whole chapter is about reversing our mindset. It’s about seeing the underlying truth. The truth that God sees. God knows. God WILL do what needs done to bring justice and to protect and provide for His own and more specifically, for the righteous. It’s quite a powerful and promising list of things God says he’ll do.
Seriously, go read it.
But what about us? What do we do while we, as verse 7 says, “ . . . wait patiently for him.” Well, there are several directives given, but I keep going back to just one verse that goes like this:
“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3
After some deeper digging into the original language, here is what to do in place of “fret”:
1. Trust the one true God who never fails. Never has. Never will. He is GOOD at being God. So stop worrying. Period.
2. Do good. Like, literally look around and see how to make things better for someone else, anyone else. Get what they need. Be helpful in the most practical ways by being intentionally “good” in what you say and in what you do. Be a positive force and a light in the world around you. (Stark contrast to the angry person above, huh?)
3. Dwell in the land. This phrase is weird because we’d have to understand all that the author had been through to get “home.” But what it means is to settle in and to settle down. Relax and grow some roots in the community. Don’t run. Disclaimer: In context, this speaks directly to our tendency to want to uproot or walk out when we are mad. This scripture is teaching us calmness and perseverance in the face of raging emotion. Determining to “dwell” guarantees we’ll get to see what God can do.
4. Befriend — or feed on — faithfulness. Eat up the faithfulness of God. Think about all the ways and all the times He has come through for you. Even when you didn’t deserve it or see it coming, God was there. He made a way and He’ll be faithful to do it again.
I don’t know your situation. I don’t know if you’re angry at someone because of something that happened five minutes ago or five decades ago. I don’t know if you even have an actual relationship with the person or the politician or the public figure or the preacher or the producer . . . oh, goodness, the absolutely ANYONE that you might feel anger toward.
But I do know this: We can trust God’s Word.
It is always right and it always wins. I believe the Bible because over and over and over again it has proven to be true. So let’s take this simple message to heart and instead of giving in to anger, let’s shift our focus and choose to trust the LORD, to do good, to stay put and to think hard about God’s faithfulness. And in all of that, we’ll discover the freedom and joy in the message:
Copyright © 2021 by Jaclyn Rowe @ https://www.lifeinprogressministries.org/jaclyn-s-intro No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.