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Trust in the Lord - Psalms 37: 3-5 & 7

 

The Book of Psalms is the most widely read book of the Bible. Psalms are poems set to music and were sung during Temple worship or on other appointed religious days. The Book of Psalms is a book about human emotions. Psalms expresses every possible human emotion.

The emotions of love, joy, sadness, despair, distress, depression, anger, revenge, desperation, humility and victory; just to name a few, are covered in the Book of Psalms. The book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, and is grouped into several categories. Psalms 37 is considered to be a wisdom Psalms, these Psalms are important because they are used in times of decision when we are searching for God’s will and direction in our lives. Psalms 37 was written because David had become disturbed over the prosperity of the wicked. He could not understand how the wicked had everything they wanted and the righteous suffered. They did what they liked. Nobody stopped them. David began to become very angry. David had to remember just like we must remember that God is in control and he always deals with men justly. It may not be on the timetable we think it should be, but God always does things on time.

The third verse of the Psalms begins with “trust in the Lord,” what does this mean? The Psalms were written by David. He was a man who trusted the Lord. David was a man who was made king while still a young man and he was hunted by Saul who tried to kill him. He endured many hardships but he never lost his faith in God.

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Psalms 37:3-5 & 7

The word trust is defined in the Hebrew as: rely on, put confidence in, to be confident in.

The dictionary defines it as: assured (certain without doubt) reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.

When we trust we: rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of- we believe. This is faith.  Proverbs 29:25 says the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

So when we trust we are relying on the character of someone. What is character? It is features and traits that form the nature of someone. It is who we are. If your trait is to lie, you become known as a liar. If your trait is dependable you become known as someone people can count on. If your character trait is absent-minded you become known as someone who is forgetful. If your character trait is hard-working you are known as someone who is not afraid of work, someone who is willing to work. If your character trait is proud, you are known as someone who does not listen, someone who has a high opinion of himself and someone who thinks he or she is superior to others. Therefore the character of God is based upon his traits or nature.

Some characteristics of God:

He’s Holy: God has never sinned and he never will. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3. The scripture also says, Be ye holy for I am holy. I Peter 1:16

He’s truthful: Hebrews 6:18.  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.  Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.

He’s perfect: Psalms 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

He’s Jealous: Exodus 20:5 & 6. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: I Corinthians 10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

He’s righteous and just: Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Isaiah 45:19 the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Genesis 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Judges 5:11 They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates. Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

He’s faithful: Psalms 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. God is totally dependable, every promise he has made will come true. This means I can rely on him.

People who trusted God: Abraham, Noah, Esther, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, The three Hebrew boys; Peter when he walked on the water.  Peter trusted God until he began to doubt. He started to look at his circumstances and unbelief began to take hold of his mind. Matthew 15:25-31.

How do we know we can trust God? Because he is faithful and he won’t allow us to be tempted above that we are able to bear. Read I Corinthians 10:13.

Abraham was a man who trusted God and he was 75 years old when God appeared to him and told him he would make a great nation of him and that he would give his seed the land of Canaan. At the time his name was still Abram. It was 25 years later before God fulfilled the promise. Genesis 12:1&2, 4&7, 21:5. One day God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Abraham trusted God; he believed that what God had promised would come true. Genesis 22:7&8, 11-13. Why did he trust God? Because he knew the character of God.

People who trusted God:

Noah: Genesis chapter 6-9. Esther: 4:16, Daniel trusted God and he refused to stop praying to God Daniel 6:6-13. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Daniel 3:16-18. Paul in Acts 12:7-10 trusted God. All of these people trusted God.

There are some questions we need to ask ourselves concerning our faith in God.

  • Do I believe more in my circumstances or in God’s promises to me?
  • Do I truly believe God will be faithful to me?
  • What promise does God want me to hold on to that he has given me from his word?

Here are more scriptures about the character of God. Exodus 34:6, Deuteronomy 7:9, 32:4. Joshua 21:45, Psalms 25:10, 100:5, I Corinthians 10:13, II Thessalonians 3:3, Hebrews 10:23 and I John 1:9.

Verse 3 of Psalms 37 also says to do good and the only way for us to do good is to keep God’s commandments. His commandments are not grievous. Jesus said that if we love him we would keep his commandments. We must keep God’s word. We can keep his word because he gives us power, through the Holy Ghost. Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you”

In Joshua 1:5-9 God told Joshua “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

III John 1:3 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

God told Joshua he would prosper and have good success if he kept the book of the law. Jesus said in St John 15:7 if we abide in him and his words abide in us, we can ask what we will. I John 5:14 says if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. His word is his will, therefore when we know what his word says we know what to pray for. Jesus knew the will of the Father that’s why he was able to pray and thank God for hearing him. St John 11:41&42.  David said in Psalms 37:25: I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.  Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Read Psalms 119:165, James 1:5 and Revelation 21:4.

What does it mean to succeed or have success?

Hebrew meaning: to have insight, wisdom and understanding, the potent capacity to understand and exercise skill in life. A state caused by proper training and teaching.

Dictionary definition: favorable or desired outcome, the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence.

And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself (wisely): and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants. That is, he prospered in all his doings. I Samuel 18:5.

Some people think having a lot of money means success. But when we do God’s will we have success, we have succeeded. Paul said he fought a good fight; he kept the faith, now there is a crown of righteousness laid up for him. He was a well-educated man, a Hebrew of the tribe of Benjamin, but he counted all of this as nothing so that he could win Christ. To him preaching the gospel and winning souls for Christ was success.

Moses had success when he brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, but he did not succeed when he failed to obey God at the rock and he did not make it into the Promised Land. Joseph had success when he refused to give in to Potiphar’s wife and he succeeded when he was patient during his imprisonment. Elijah succeeded when he was taken away in a whirlwind and Elisha succeeded when he received Elijah’s mantel. These people behaved wisely and received the promised God had for them.

I Samuel 2:7&8. “The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them.” Psalms 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

When we know the character of God we can then:

Delight thyself: to enjoy or take pleasure or satisfaction in, joy, extreme satisfaction. Something that gives great pleasure. To take great pleasure in.

Delight is the expression or exhibition of joy, so if you delight in the Lord your behavior will show this, because there will be an outward exhibition of this joy.

There are many things we delight ourselves in such as; sports, entertainment, video games, relationships, concerts, actors etc. If anyone has ever been in love they know what it means to delight himself. When we are in love we want to be with the person, we want to spend time with them and talk to them. We get excited when we know we are going to see them. When we are sad or have had a bad day we want to talk with the person and share, when we are happy we want to share. We want the person to be a part of our lives everyday. When we delight ourselves in a relationship we take pleasure and get satisfaction from the relationship. This is the same way we are to delight ourselves in the Lord.

Verse 5 says to commit thy way:

In the Hebrew commit means: to roll down, roll away, turnover, to roll care or responsibility onto the Lord. To cast means to throw from you.

Paul said in I Peter 5:7 for to cast all our care (worries, concerns) upon the Lord because he cares for us. Paul said God cares for us and when you care for someone you are concerned, you want what’s best for that person, and you don’t want harm to come to the person.

In the Dictionary it means: to put into charge or trust

Proverbs 3:5& 6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Do not be led by your own wisdom, but obey God and he will finish his work in you.

The only way we can commit our way or cast all our cares upon the Lord is if we trust him. Again this goes back to his character. We can commit our way unto the Lord because we know he cares for us, because it is his nature to care.

When we commit our way we can then rest in the Lord:

In the Hebrew it means: to be still, be silent, be quiet (have peace).

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The Dictionary defines rest as: a state of motionlessness or inactivity, to be free from anxiety or disturbance, to remain confident.

When the storm was raging Jesus was in the bow of the ship asleep, he was not disturbed by the storm raging around him because he had confidence in the God.  He knew the power he possessed and he knew that when he spoke the word the storm would cease.   

The only way we can rest in the Lord and be free from anxiety and remain confident is if we trust him. Again we can only trust God when we know the character of God. Jesus rested in God, especially after he had prayed and asked God to remove his cup. Abraham rested in the Lord. He was confident God would bring it to pass. He never complained when God told him to sacrifice his only son, unlike Moses who complained all the time.

While we are resting in the Lord we are to wait:

The Hebrew defines wait as: to hope in, look for,

The Dictionary defines it as: to stay in place in expectation of

We are to be looking for the coming of the Lord. The people in the upper room in the book of Acts were told to wait and look for power from on high. They stayed in place expecting something to happen. How many times has God told us to wait and we start off doing good, but we get impatient and anxious and stop waiting. We make a move we shouldn’t and miss the hour of our visitation.

Waiting is like being at the doctor’s office. You go because you have a need. Something is wrong and you need a solution. You need relief from pain; suffering or maybe you are just going for a check-up to make sure everything is fine. You may be going to have a blood test for glucose, cholesterol, iron deficiency or whatever the case might be. You wait at the doctor’s office in the waiting room, staying in place expecting to see him or her. Sometimes the wait becomes long and you get impatient and say forget it, I’ll come back some other time. If you leave you won’t get what you came for. You might be the next person the doctor was going to call, but you won’t know it because you left. You did not stay in place. If the people in the upper room had left they would have missed power from on high. We wait on the Lord because he promised and he cannot lie, we wait because we trust him.

How are we to wait on the Lord? Patiently. Resting in the Lord produces patience; we are to be patient which means: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint. Manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain, remaining steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity.  Forbearance: is restraint, self-control

James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Therefore Psalms 37:3-7 is saying we are to rely on God and put our confidence in him. We can do this because we are assured that the character of God is true and steadfast. He will do what he said he would do, he will bring it to pass. He is Holy and he cannot lie.

If we delight ourselves in the Lord or get enjoyment and joy and take great pleasure in the Lord he will (shall) a positive fact give us the desires of our heart. Psalms 1:2 says the godly man’s delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law he meditates day and night and whatsoever he does shall prosper (be successful or succeed) he will flourish.

If we commit our way unto the Lord, that is roll our care and problems onto him, he shall bring it to pass. What is the “it”? The desires of our heart. When we delight ourselves in the Lord his desires become our desires and we will not ask for anything that is contrary to his will (word).

We are to rest in the Lord, which means to be still, to remain confident and be free from anxiety, to be at peace. Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

This is how those who are persecuted and reviled and mistreated in the beatitudes are blessed. Because they roll their care unto the Lord, they rest in him and are able to have peace. We are to wait on the Lord. When we wait on him we look for and stay in place expecting to receive something from him.

How are we to wait? Patiently. When we are patient we go through our trials calmly and without complaint. We remain steadfast (fixed in place) despite obstacles and problems.  I Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Ephesians 6:13-14 says “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.(stay in place, to stop for defense and resist). Continue to stand (resist, stay in place) Therefore we are to stand with the whole armor of God.

What is armor? It is a defensive weapon for the whole body, a quality or circumstance that gives protection, a quality or condition serving as a defense difficult to penetrate.

Therefore the armor God has given us is used to defend ourselves from the attacks of the enemy. This armor makes it difficult for Satan to penetrate, if we use it, but armor is no good if we don’t put it on. Armor is made up of several parts and the first part of the armor is:

Truth: “having your loins girt about with truth.” Jesus said he is the way the truth and the life. When we have Jesus we are using truth.

Righteousness: “and having on the breastplate of righteousness,” a breastplate is a covering for the back, breast and both upper arms. It protects the heart.

Why do we need righteousness to protect our heart? Because the scripture says our righteousness is as filthy rags and the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, (Isaiah 64:6) but we are made righteous through our faith in Jesus Christ. He changes our heart from stone to flesh. Jeremiah 17:9

Gospel of peace: “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:15. Our feet are used to get us from one place to another and they need protection from the elements. If we didn’t have protection for our feet we wouldn’t get very far in our walk. We are to gird ourselves with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus said for us to go into all the world and make disciples. We are to be witnesses.

We are to also take the helmet of salvation: a helmet is usually made from hard material to resist impact. Ezekiel 27:10, I Samuel 17:38. It protects our mind because if Satan can get our mind he has us. We are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. When Satan attacks our mind the helmet resists the impact, we can then stand from the impact. 

We have to take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. The word is the only thing Satan listens to. A sword is sharp on both sides; it is used to defend and also to destroy. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The sword of the spirit is used to destroy the enemy (Satan) and bring his surrender.

Above all we are to take the shield of faith. This is the major part of the armor. It is for the protection of the whole person. The shield of faith quenches all the fiery darts of the enemy. Ephesians 6:16, I Peter 1:3-5. Faith is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Faith is not logical; you can’t trust God and use logic, because the two won’t work together. When you have faith, you don’t see it but it’s there. But this shield of faith will only work if we trust God, because every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him Proverbs 30:5

Faith which is trusting without seeing reminds me of a movie I have seen. The movie is Indiana Jones and the last crusade.  In this movie Indiana Jones and his father are looking for the Holy Grail. They find where the Grail is hidden and Indiana’s father gets shot and if Indiana does not get the challis for his father to drink from he will die. Indiana follows his father’s instructions on how to reach the Grail but there is a problem, in order for Indiana to get the Holy Grail he will have to cross a chasm and there is no visible way for him to get to the other side. There is no bridge, there are no ledges, and there are no ropes or stairs that he can use. He doesn’t know how he is going to get across to the other side, but one thing he does know, if he does not get to the other side his father is going to die. He is desperate because he wants to save his father’s life.

 He decides that somehow he is going to get to the other side; he believes there is a way because his father’s notes said there was a way to get there, so he takes a step out into the open air not knowing if he is going to plunge to his death and to his surprise he finds solid ground. As the camera moves to the side you can see there is a bridge there and the reason you couldn’t see if before is because it is clear as crystal and you had to step on it for it to materialize. To me this is an example of faith. Trusting God is not something we can see, but we have to make a step, we have to move forward trusting that God is there to help us. We can’t see God and most of the time we can’t see anything, but we believe. When we step out on faith most of the time we are apprehensive because we can’t see what God sees, but we have to take a deep breath and say o.k. Lord here I go, I’m, putting my trust in you. Indiana made it to the other side, passed the test he was given and he was able to save his father.  But if he had not taken a step of faith his father would have died and he never would have found the Holy Grail.

Everything depends upon our trusting God. Someone might ask us if we trust God and our answer will probably be, yes I trust God with my life. That is the bottom line. Do I trust God? Do I have confidence in him? This is a question we must ask ourselves.  This is a question we need to ask in every situation we find ourselves in.

Nadine Richmond

The Church Readiness Ministries