The message was brought by Rev. Eddie Foster.
Have your Bible open to Psalms 37:1-40.
Fret Not. I looked up the word fret in Websters. There were several definitions, but I picked these: to eat away; to gnaw at; to be irritated; and to be worried. It’s interesting that fret and worry go together. There are two reasons for that. (1) Because we are surprised at the prosperity of the wicked. But look at what these verses say. 28: they (the wicked) shall be cut off; 20: the wicked shall perish. Why go through life envying someone who will eventually end up in hell? Job realized when all he had was gone that God was still there. He still blessed the Lord. We see people who are not Christians that prosper more than we do, but remember as a Christian we are rich beyond measure. Verse 12 says The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. Don’t be surprised if the wicked hate you. Jeremiah asked the same question when he asked why the wicked prospered. He wanted justice, and God reminded him of the grace and mercy give to him instead of justice. God still extends mercy and grace today. So what should we do?
Wait on the Lord. One of Elkanah’s wives had children but Hanna didn’t. Instead of giving up, she kept on going to church. She kept praying. That’s not what people do. While we are away from church during this time, stay in the Bible. Get serious and pray earnestly. James reminds us that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. We have a great High Priest who intercedes for us, none other than Jesus Christ. Pray for each other. Hanna kept praying and going to church; she ended up in the better place and was given a son.
What does this Psalm teach us that we’re to do? Verse 3: trust in the Lord: verse 4: delight in the Lord; verse 5: commit our way to the Lord; verse 7: rest in the Lord; and verse 34: wait on the Lord. I need to wait. God knows what will happen tomorrow and on down the road. He is not surprised. He knew before this pandemic was going to happen that it would. He knows when it will end. Just do all these things mentioned. Isaiah said in 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6 that we are not to worry. He said not to think of what we will eat or wear. He takes care of the birds of the air. He said to consider the lilies; they do nothing on their own. God takes care of them and even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
There are six ways to break the worry habit. (1) Stay active. (2) Don’t let little things get to you. (3) Remember 90% of what you worry about won’t happen. (4) Cooperate with the inevitable. A Mother Goose rhyme goes like this. “For every evil under the sun, There is a remedy, or there is none. If there be one, try and find it; If there be none, never mind it.” I think that’s pretty good. (5) We can’t change it, so why worry. (6) Do your best and if you’ve done that, why worry. We are to forget the past, trust God for the future, and live in the present. If you’re always trying to care for the future, remember God has it under control. Live in the present.
Fear Not. When it comes to fear, it can be moral or physical. We need moral courage. I want to do what’s right and not fear it. Physical courage means you’re not afraid of anything. I don’t have much of that. But as I live my Christian life, I get more moral courage. Many fear the minority. The more I study the more I appreciate Joshua and Caleb, two of the 12 spies of Israel. Ten said we can’t take the land of Canaan. They saw giants as bigger than God. Joshua and Caleb saw their God bigger than the giants and said they could take the land. In life, either your giants are bigger or God is. Wonder how many of those 10 just didn’t have courage to do what was right? Imagine how Noah felt. There are not a lot of Daniel’s or Shadrach, Misech, and Abendigo’s today. Fear is a paralyzing emotion, but with God’s help it can be overcome.
Forget Not. As time goes by we forget those who helped us become what we are today. There are no self-made men. I thank God for people like Cecil Presley, Jack Sprinkle, Walter Statzer, David Neitch, and Bob Surber who helped me in my stand for God. We need to pray for America. We were founded on Christian principles. Even our currency says so. We cannot forget his blessings. Psalms 103 tells us not to forget all his benefits. Go somewhere today and thank God for what he’s done for you. We need to get back in the Bible and stay there.
Faint Not. Look these scriptures up. Second Corinthians 4:1 as we have received mercy, we faint not; Luke 18:1 pray and not faint; Galatians 6:9 let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not; Hebrews 12:5 despise not the chastening of the Lord, or faint when thou art rebuked of him; and Matthew 9:36 they fainted…as sheep having no shepherd. It doesn’t take great looks or a great personality not to faint. It takes trust in God. Atmosphere can cause us to faint physically and spiritually. Peter warmed his hands by the fire of the enemy during the trial of Jesus. In that atmosphere he denied the Lord. He was around the wrong crowd. Weakness and weariness causes people to faint. Elijah was exhausted after his victory on Mount Carmel. He got to that juniper tree and asked God to let him die. He felt he was the only one serving God. He was reminded there were yet 7,000 prophets who served the true God. A lack of food can cause one to faint. None of us are in that boat physically, but we can lack our spiritual food and that can cause us to faint. Stay in the Word. Discouragement can cause one to faint. Listen to this. Isaiah 40:28 hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. God is never weary, never discouraged, never tired, perplexed or confused. He increases our understanding if we ask him.
Paul reached a difficult time. He asked for a thorn in his flesh to be removed. We don’t know what it was because the Bible doesn’t tell us. Instead of removing it God told his in II Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
You may be fretting and fearful. You may be ready to faint. Hang in there. Never forget what the Lord has done. If you’re worrying about something or thinking of quitting, don’t do it. Our country, our world, is at the most trying time in our lifetime. David went through a lot. He endured a lot but he said we can trust and wait on the Lord. God is not too big to be concerned about our small problems and he’s not too small to help with the big ones. David got down to business with God. Let’s do it too.