Reading Through The Bible in 2011, Part 37

What I Read: Psalms 34-41.

What Stood Out About What I Read Today: Psalm 37: 1-6, ” Do not fret when wicked men seem to succeed! Do not envy evildoers! For they will quickly dry up like grass,
and wither away like plants. Trust in the Lord and do what is right! Settle in the land and maintain your integrity! Then you will take delight in the Lord, and he will answer your prayers. Commit your future to the Lord! Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf. He will vindicate you in broad daylight, and publicly defend your just cause.

Random Thought About What I Read:

One of my favorite things about going to the movies is watching the trailers for upcoming movies. These little 2 or 3 minute bits break down the central premise of the movie and are designed to make us want to see it…even when we know that so many of those movies look like they’ll be fantastic but we know they’ll be a let down.

In other words, the premise of most movies are usually great ideas.

Take, for example, a preview for the movie I saw before a movie the other night. It really got my brain going.

The premise of the movie is that there’s this down & out guy who stumbles across a drug that will allow him to use his brain to his fullest capacity (supposedly most people use their brains at about 20% capacity–I’m too lazy to check the facts on that). During the preview a GREAT question was asked:

“How many of us ever know what it is to become perfect versions of ourselves?”

I have no idea if the movie “Limitless” will be any good or not. We’ll see. The great irony could be if that movie is the perfect version of itself!

Because the question is one I think we often ask ourselves. For whatever reason, I ask it myself a lot. And I thought about that for a few days…

…and I think Psalm 37 highlights an area of my life in which I’d like to be the perfect version of myself: The ability to truly trust God.

See, like everybody else, I want to trust God. I say I trust God. I act like a trust God. Until…

…things don’t go my way. Or go as I expected them to. Or things don’t seem to get answered. Then I try to take charge of my own life. But Psalm 37 shows us a lot about what it means to trust God, and the benefits of trusting God. Usually it does this right in the same verse or so!

For example, in verse 3 we’re given the command to trust God and do good. Then we’ll cultivate faithfulness. That’s a cycle I’ve talked about earlier in these posts, that the more you obey the more you trust, and the more you trust, the more you obey. So often I find ways to be disobedient as the first step when I begin to lose trust in Him.

In verse 4 we’re to delight in the Lord, he’ll give us the desires of our heart. This isn’t a genie-in-a-bottle kind of desire, but rather a heart that’s delighted in the Lord will naturally gravitate to the desires that God wants for us. Think of it as our heart syncing up with His will for us.

In verse 5 we’re to commit our way to the Lord and he will make sure that, even when it doesn’t look like the good guys finish first, the good guys will get noticed for the good they do.

In verse 7 we’re not to worry about the bad guys getting ahead…which always causes me to lose trust in God because sometimes it seems like it doesn’t “pay” to follow Him. Literally and/or figuratively. Instead, we’re supposed to be still and wait on Him. Ugh.

In verse 8 we’re not supposed to get angry or use violence or worry when things look dark. Those only lead to more unrest. Ugh.

And if you keep reading you see all sorts of elements of trusting Him…

…like verse 16. Be satisfied with little. I’m rarely satisfied with “little.” Mostly, my idea of trusting Him involves Him giving me “more,” even if that “more” isn’t necessarily stuff. It’s usually more of doing it my way.

…like verse 21. We’re supposed to be gracious givers. I’m more about saving for rainy days and taking care of my own.

…like verse 27. We’re to turn from evil and turn to doing good. When things aren’t going my way it seems like the perfect time to chuck it all and just be bad.

…like verse 31. We’re to plant His Word in our hearts. When I don’t trust God, His Word is the last thing I want to get in my heart.

…like verse 34. We’re supposed to wait on the Lord. Ugh. Even though I know His timing is perfect, I have a way it’s all supposed to go and if it doesn’t, well, I take that as license to go full steam ahead my way!

…like verse 40. We’re supposed to take refuge in the Lord. My plan is usually to attack and fight my own battles. Aren’t we supposed to pick ourselves up by our own bootstraps?

And look at the benefits of trusting God we see if we keep reading, man!

In several verses (say 9, 22 or 34) we see an inheritance mentioned. Granted, mostly in the Old Testament that inheritance is talking about the land they’ll inherit and get to rest in once God sets everything right for His people. But even for us New Testamenters, the inheritance is significant. Those rewards are meaningful, man. That inheritance is forever if you read verse 18.
We get to enjoy peace in verse 11. Who doesn’t want more peace?
We get to be propped up by God according to verse 17.
When there’s a famine, we’ll have plenty if we trust Him in verse 19.
We have security if we read verse 27 correctly.
We’ll never be forsaken by God according to verse 28.
We won’t slip while we’re moving along in verse 31.
We’ll see the wicked get what’s coming to them in verse 34.
We’ll be helped and delivered by the Lord in verse 40.

Let’s be honest, shall we?

We all say that we want to trust God.
We all are aware of the benefits of trusting God.

We can read them all right there.

But the truth about me is that I want to be a perfect version of myself when it comes to trusting God…

…I seem to fall short even if I’m fully aware of the pros and cons of it.

So, the question of the day is, what is it that we need to be trusting God for? And, are we simply going to be people who WANT to trust God or are we going to trust God?

The premise of trusting God is for sure a great idea. The question is whether or not we’ll do the idea justice.

(Tomorrow’s reading: Psalms 42-49)