Based on Biblical Text Psalm 37:4-7a
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. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.
We have all heard that we can have peace in the time of storm. However, when the storm is raging, how do we handle our dissatisfaction? How do we hold our peace when we are under attack? We find in our text that David gives us simple steps that enable us to take hold of this elusive peace.
The first step to contentment, David says, is delight — delight in the Lord. This plain statement supports the first secret of tranquility, which is the realization that life is upset not so much from without as from within. What David has come to realize is that it is not our changing circumstances that rob us of peace, but rather it is our unregulated desires.
Our wishes disturb our peace! We wish we had what someone else has. We wish we could be what someone else has become. We wish we could do what someone else does. When we have a heart full of varying, sometimes contradictory “wishes,” it can easily cause us to stew on the inside. One unfulfilled desire is upsetting enough to disturb our tranquility and peace. Certainly we will find it very difficult to survive several desires dragging us in as many different directions.
The first step to peace, then, is the focus of our desire. What is it that delights us? Our unbridled and varying wishes can be our own worst enemy. They destroy our tranquility by putting us at the mercy of external forces. We find that thing that we have made lord of our life becomes necessary for our contentment. We are miserable without it.
When we desire the earthly and the external, we give these perishable things ultimate power over us and allow them to become interweaved with our spirit. What follows is apprehension and fear as we go through life like blind sheep tethered to a wayward shepherd. One slip and we fall to our death. The heart that depends upon “things” for peace is sure to suffer a lifetime of uninterrupted restlessness because disappointment will surely come. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.”
Disappointment is the law for all earthly desires. It becomes even more of a concern as our appetite increases, our satisfaction decreases. The things that once satisfied us may remain the same, but the power to pacify us is diminished. Possession eventually brings indifference.
But David says those who “delight in the Lord” first shall be blessed. Those who reach for the purest and highest form of religious emotion and declare, “Whom have I on earth beside Thee?” instantly find the cure for all internal commotion that results from the intense unrest stemming from unfulfilled desires. The Lord’s peace — “peace that surpasses all understanding” — fills our soul when our delight is in Him, and our soul’s hunger is blessed with instant satisfaction.
The second step to peace and contentment is commitment — commitment to the Lord. There are times in each of our lives when we are led to a point of decision. It is a time where our entire future depends upon the direction we choose to take. Our decision must be made by faith as we cannot see beyond the immediate moment. At this moment in our lives, the future appears to be clouded in a haze of uncertainty. However, as powerless as we may be, we must choose, and our choice determines the course of the rest of our days.
We must understand that even as smart as we think we are, the truth is we were never intended to be challenged by the confusion of choosing our own path. We are encouraged to recognize that even the smallest decisions in our most unexciting day are better handled by the Master. We are challenged to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” It is a fact that often the greatest events in our lives grow out of our seemingly insignificant decisions.
David admonishes us to “commit your way unto the Lord.” The word commit in the original Hebrew actually means ‘to roll’ or ‘to wallow.’ In other words God invites us to “roll away” all of our troubles by simply committing ourselves to Him and wallowing in His goodness!
If we can learn to commit the steps we take, even in our most commonplace or humdrum daily activities, to the Lord we will then find it easier to seek His help when we come to a fork in our road. But what does that require? It requires that we put aside our own tendency, our own will. We do that when we begin to cease from “self.” That does not mean that we just cast out all of our wishes, but it does mean that we don’t allow our wishes to decide our direction. We must yield all our wishes to Him who is able to grant all wishes.
Then, the third step to contentment is rest — the kind of rest that keeps us free from the anxiety of an unknown future. The truth is that we know so little of our future. Our concern about what may be and the certainty of what must be is disturbing to us. Soon we find our hopes melting into fears, and we are filled with apprehension.
The Bible tells us that those who “belong to the Lord” are sure that He is with us! He is with us in every agonizing beginning, every challenging confrontation, every distressing situation, every horrible happening and every terrifying time. And if we are sure that God is with us, we can say “let it be as He wills, and it will be well!”
There is a sweet calmness in knowing that whatever our trials, whatever our fears, we can find rest in the Lord. There is no better peace for us who face the fears of uncertainty. The choice for us is simply “Shall we fight our storms alone, or shall we invite the Lord to fight our battles?” Isn’t it better, much more joyful, and in every way, more peaceful to look beyond our dangerous future and see ourselves in the arms of our loving Father and wait patiently on Him?
Only when we delight in the Lord and commit our way unto the Lord will we find rest in Him. Only then will we be able to confront whatever lies ahead and be able to cast our cares upon a faithful, patient and loving Father, who is our protection and peace.
As we approach the Sabbath
Sunday, July 7, 2013, is the Seventh Sunday After Pentecost.
Join our Worship Experience at 10:00 am.
Church School begins at 8:45 am.
Scripture Lesson for this Sunday
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
There is a Word from the Lord!
Sermon Text Psalm 4:1; Psalm 4:4-5
Sermon Title Calling On God in a Tight Place