Verse of the Week: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5 (NIV)
Monday: Psalm 37 is not a song of prayer or praise, but rather a song of instruction. Read verses 4-9. Notice the six distinct ways we can obey God– delight, commit, rest, wait, trust, and hope. God demonstrates how much He loves honoring our obedience as each instruction is followed with a promise. We will certainly experience much joy and peace as we apply these principles. But if we have never asked Jesus into our lives, that should be first. Through Jesus, our sins are forgiven and forgotten and we are placed in a right relationship with God the Father. Our human nature does not want to hand over control to anyone. But as we trust Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, it becomes much more natural to delight in, commit to, rest in, wait for, trust in, and hope in God. Then He’s delighted to respond by fulfilling His generous promises in our lives.
Read: 1 John 3:21-24; 4:9-16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Proverbs 16:20
Tuesday: Ever been around someone delightful? Do you find yourself wanting to spend more time with that person? We esteem and respect delightful people. Though others can be a delight, we can also delight in others. It’s often a two-way street. When I delight in my husband, he’s typically more attentive to me and vice versa. It’s similar in our relationship with God. King David, a man after God’s heart, wrote, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps 37:4). When we realize just how delightful God is and that He delights in us, we can’t help but want to draw nearer to Him. As we trust, rejoice, love, praise and spend more time with Him, He’s attentive to give us our heart’s desires. Does that mean we get whatever we ask for? No, it means as we draw closer to Him and witness more of who He is, His desires and plans for us become our deepest heart’s desire.
Read: Psalm 37:4; Zephaniah 3:17; Jeremiah 29:11-14
Wednesday: In relationships, commitment can be scary. It requires consideration, yielding, promising, and entrusting. It’s often love that compels us toward such an investment. Psalm 37:5-6 say, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” It may be difficult to commit to the Lord, if our earthly commitments have been negative experiences. But if we entrust Him with our ways, He promises a positive outcome. If we confide in God by placing Him in charge of our lives, He promises to bring justice to our cause. If our only agenda is to cling to Him, our reputations will shine as honest, upright and virtuous. He promises to deliver us through difficulties, not only with comfort, but with credit and honor. Our only responsibility in this matter is to commit and trust Him to do it.
Read: Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 5:7; Jeremiah 17:7-8
Thursday: To be still I need no distractions. Some of the most refreshing times in my life have been when I’ve been forced to be still. You know, those vacations with no cell phone, no computer, and the only activities are leisurely walks or reading? However rest does not always refer to idleness. We can be still or rest in God’s presence no matter where we are or what the situation. Resting in Him can simply be quiet and confident trust. Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” Many people tend to turn away from God when they are exhausted. Associating Him with duty, they avoid time with Him when a break is necessary for refreshment. But He desires that we run to Him for rest. He wants to refresh us with His presence. In all circumstances, quiet or busy, be still with confident trust and wait for Him to intervene on your behalf.
Read: Matthew 11:28-30; Isaiah 30:15 and 18; Psalm 55:22
Friday: We get our fill of evil and injustice on the evening news. Many people want to blame God for it, but the truth is He created the world without sin. Humans are the ones who corrupted it by disobeying Him and His will. Eve ate from that forbidden “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:16). After that, everything went down hill. I’m tempted to wonder why good people fail and bad people prosper, or why the good die young and evil men live long lives, or why some go through life unaccountable for their wrong actions. God’s Word tells us not to fret when men “carry out their wicked schemes” (Ps 37:7b). He promises justice for those who trust and wait patiently for Him, even in this fallen world. His Word reminds us not to become angry and says, “…evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land” (verse 9). Every person will be held accountable by God. Instead of blaming God for evil, we should be thanking Him for salvation. He sent Jesus to die for our wickedness, so we could all with equal opportunity be forgiven, be in relationship with Him, and have the hope of eternity in heaven. Now that’s justice!
Read: Psalm 37:7-9; Hebrews 4:13-16; Romans 3:22-26
Devotions by Rivera Douthit