After the third caution against fretting, David added this warning, “It only causes harm” (v8). The act of worrying yields no constructive results; only destructive. Worry can actually affect your physical body. It can result in loss of appetite, insomnia, digestive problems, respiratory issues, anxiety attacks, the inability to focus and think clearly, and so on.
There is never a shortage of things to worry about. What we need is a plan to overcome the worry-monster! We find such a plan in Psalm 37:3-8. It’s a simple five-step plan that will help us live worry-free lives.
Step #1: Trust in the Lord (v3). The word “trust” in that passage means “to lean.” When I am worrying I am leaning on myself. When I am trusting I am leaning on Jesus. So maybe we should learn to lean!
Step #2: Delight yourself in the Lord (v4). The word “delight” carries the idea of having a good time. Instead of fretting and fuming over life’s problems, have a good time with God. Spend time with the Lord, because in His presence is fullness of joy.
Step #3: Commit your way to the Lord (v5). This step takes trust to a higher level. The word “commit” has to do with the length of time involved. It speaks of a permanent thing. When you commit something to God you give Him control. The pressure is off when I get out of the driver’s seat and let God take the wheel.
Step #4: Rest in the Lord and wait patiently (v7). “Rest” means to be silent. “Wait patiently” carries the idea of remaining under. Here is the idea – once you commit something to God, be silent. Quit talking about it. Quit thinking about it. You’ve put it under the lordship of Jesus so leave it there and wait patiently for Him to work.
Step #5: Cease from anger (v8). The word “cease” means to let something alone; to let it go down. Anger, anxiety, and worry will naturally subside unless we do something to stir them up again. Let God settle you down. And whatever you do, do not take matters into your own hands.
If we wanted to, we could all worry ourselves into an early grave, or at least a nervous breakdown. Don’t go there. Follow these five simple steps laid out by the same man who wrote in another psalm about green pastures, still waters, and paths of righteousness. It’s the better way to live.
Pastor Todd Weston