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Psalm 37

Hillary Donohoue

1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!

For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.

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.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord and 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.

For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

11 But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.

12 The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,

13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;

15 their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.

16 Better is the little that the righteous has

than the abundance of many wicked.

17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will remain forever;

19 they are not put to shame in evil times;
in the days of famine they have abundance.

20 But the wicked will perish;
the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
but the righteous is generous and gives;

22 for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,

when he delights in his way;

24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old,

yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.

26 He is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing.

27 Turn away from evil and do good;

so shall you dwell forever.

28 For the Lord loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

29 The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.

31 The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watches for the righteous

and seeks to put him to death.

33 The Lord will not abandon him to his power
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34 Wait for the Lord and keep his way,

and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
spreading himself like a green laurel tree.

36 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.

38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.

40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

First, I want to say that Psalm 37:4 is my life verse. When I was about 21 and my mom was going through her third divorce…I was just devestated…mostly because I don’t like change and I do like stability. And I also LOVED the house we lived in. At this time I started dating this guy mostly because I liked his family and the stability I felt like I found in their home. Well he was most definitely the wrong guy and I was just stuck in this pseudo relationship and couldn’t get out of it. I realized, or the Holy Spirit revealed to me, that I was going to end up marrying the wrong guy, and probably go through lots of divorces, and statistically just follow my mom’s footsteps in that particular area…and God spoke to me Psalm 37:4…I just knew I needed to put Jesus first, wholly devote myself to delighting in Him above anything else. I resolved to never date anyone again until I knew in my heart of hearts that I truly delighted in Jesus, that He was my first desire, and that I would be content with Him and not give into that internal, nagging need I felt for marriage and wanting to be loved.  

Long story short…so fast forward a year and a half, and Dan and I started dating after God had made it clear to me that I really did delight myself in Him first and I was content with Me and Jesus and it was real…like I wasn’t tricking myself because I was desperate or lying to myself. So that’s my life verse because I know first hand how it is always best to put Jesus first in every area of our life, to love Him first, talk to Him, listen to Him, seek Him…and that whatever the desire of our heart is, He will give it to us….and sometimes that means our desires morph a bit or we have to wait for it….but even in that waiting, the norm in our heart is a state of feeling settled and at peace and not living in this constant nagging need for anything else. For me, I saw how I altered the course of my life by listening to the Holy Spirit’s prodding me to delight myself in the Lord….and then He did give me my hearts desire too cause God is faithful! I am convinced I would’ve married a jerk and already been divorced at least once by now.  

No one and nothing can fully satisfy but Jesus…and everything else is truly extra. It isn’t that easy today; it wasn’t easy 12 years ago either…it took me almost 2 years to get to a place in my heart where I could say I delighted in the Lord first and He satisfied me. But I bet each of us has areas we need to give up and seek Jesus and let Him satisfy us. Maybe our marriage, or with our kids, or our work, or the issues we face in our nation and world. Maybe it’s an unforgiveness area…where we need to give it up to God, forgive someone, and delight ourself in the Lord instead of hold onto any seed or root of bitterness. He is a God of justice…if that’s the desire of your heart, He will always bring about justice!

Today, I struggle with fretting over the evil in the world/nation and how that could impact the safety of myself and family (v1, etc). I don’t struggle as much as I did a couple years ago…I had to fight really hard all over again to delight myself in the Lord first and foremost. I had Air1 constantly playing on the radio in the kitchen and in the car, I was praying in the Spirit practically all day, I was rebuking the enemy and speaking truth boldly and out loud over my mind and spirit. It took almost a year to get to a place in my heart where I felt settled back into Jesus, the safety of His arms, His promises, His faithfulness, and His power. I got to a place where I felt content in Him, no matter what was going down in this city or that, or this law or that law.  

Now I am not living in fear…I have real HOPE…I am trying to daily put my trust in Jesus, to commit my way to the Lord (v5), to not fret when evil seems to be growing, to trust that God will always provide (v19), that the Lord isn’t going to let my life fall apart (v23-24, v28), and that no matter what, in the end, He wins, we win; and He always has and always will reign and justice will be served (v 39-40).

So yeah, let’s each put our trust in Him, do good, delight in Him, cry out to Him with our desires, commit our way to Him daily, ask for justice in our lives, and in our hearts-don’t fret over evil and let that consume us. 

Heavenly Father, I pray that each one of us would seek You with our whole hearts and actually put You first…for me, that I would actually hope in You and delight in You to satisfy every fabric of what I need, how I feel, what I think about, what I want to do with my life…that you would be the One I seek, and Your approval and Your voice would be my One Source I turn to first. Holy Spirit, keep on working in my heart total victory over fearing evil and do the same for every person reading this. Help me put my ALL my eggs in Your basket…all my hope in You God, and nothing in this World. Help me not be so affected by the world…even by my own family members…or by how a day is going…or by traffic…or rude people at grocery stores….help me to be so close to You Jesus and delighting in You that all those things don’t dissatisfy me anymore…all of us, Lord. Holy Spirit do a work in us so we might know You more….draw us closer….woo us into being satisfied with You first, Jesus…delighting in You above all else….and at the right time, would You so faithfully give to each of us what You know is our hearts’ desire. AMEN!!

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