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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, February 17, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 37:1–11, 39–40

Do not fret because of the wicked;
    do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass,
    and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight 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 make your vindication shine like the light,
    and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
    do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
    over those who carry out evil devices.

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
    though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land,
    and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
    he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and rescues them;
    he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him. (NRSV)

Reflection
Worrying, being anxious, and fretting seem to plague and consume millions of people in our world today. We live in a world where advice blares from TV, blogs, and social media 24/7. It’s human nature to be concerned about the extremely difficult situations in our world and personal lives.

Like the ocean, worry is always in motion, but where does worry get us? It steals our peace, joy, physically wears us out, and makes us ill. We recently rewatched the amazing movie Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. Throughout the movie the Russian spy who was hated by both Americans and Russians was repeatedly asked by Hanks, “Aren’t you worried?” and his response was always “Would it help?” He was profound and powerful in his stoicism.

Upon reflection I think that worry is the opposite of faith. Too often we trust our own abilities and assume we can figure out how to take care of our individual challenges. Yet even with our habitual worrying we come up short and unable to bring about suitable solutions to quell our various fears.

Psalm 37 tells us God does not want us to fret, worry, or be envious but asks that we tap into our gratefulness for what God has given us. Do not be angry or vindictive, forgive as you have been forgiven, and practice gentleness and self-control with ourselves and others.

We should work hard to understand that worrying never helps a situation get better. Worrying sends a message to ourselves and those around us that we are helpless, but if we can trust and believe that God has everything in God’s control then we’re never helpless. Then how might we lessen our fretting about things outside of our control?

  • Be thankful for the things we have. We can humbly go to God in prayer with a thankful heart and ask for peace.
  • Focus on good things that are honest and positive.
  • Do good and love others as we love ourselves.
  • Delight in the love of God and sit quietly in God’s presence and pray for guidance.
  • After you have done all you can, relax and trust that God will take care of the rest.

Prayer
Dear Lord, we humbly ask to strengthen our faith in you and to believe and say “God, I trust you” with all of our fears and weaknesses. Give us your eternal power to live with grace, in peace, and to enjoy the abundant life you have planned for us. Amen.

Written by Cris Ohr, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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