Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7 NIV)
Of one thing we may be sure; we can never escape the external stimuli that cause vexation. The world is full of them and though we were to retreat to a cave and live the remainder of our days alone, we still could not lose them. The rough floor of our cave would chafe us, the weather would irritate us and the very silence would cause us to fret.
Deliverance from a fretting spirit may be by blood and fire, by humility, self-abnegation and a patient carrying of the cross. There will always be "evildoers" and "workers of iniquity," and for the most part they will appear to succeed while the forces of righteousness will seem to fail. The wicked will always have the money and the talent and the publicity and the numbers, while the righteous will be few and poor and unknown. The prayerless Christian will surely misread the signs and fret against the circumstances. That is what the Spirit warns us against.
Let us look out calmly upon the world; or better yet, let us look down upon it from above where Christ is seated and we are seated in Him. Though the wicked spread himself like "a green tree in its native soil" (Psalm 37:35), it is only for a moment. Soon he passes away and is not. But "the salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble" (verse 39). This knowledge should cure the fretting spirit.
Prayer Lord, all my anxiety I bring to You. Help me to leave it with You!
Thought God's timing is usually quite different from ours but it fully accords with His will and purpose. It is for us to wait - patiently, faithfully wait for the Lord. Lay your cause for fretting before Him today and leave it there!
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