Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40 (NRSV)
Verse 1Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers,
Verse 2for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
Verse 3Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Verse 4Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Verse 5Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
Verse 6He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
Verse 7Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices.
Verse 8Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret-it leads only to evil.
Verse 9For the wicked shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
Verse 10Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
Verse 11But the meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
Verse 39The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
Verse 40The Lord helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
God’s mercy is…kindness and peace
How many of us have spent nights awake and worrying? We fret, hold onto the trouble, and attempt to resolve the issue ourselves. Or at other times it may be fear or envy keeping us awake. We cry out, “It’s not fair!” when someone else gets the job or things just aren’t going our way.
The psalmist has a better idea and reminds us, “Put your trust in the LORD and do good.” These words sound so simple but are so difficult for us to do. We like to feel that our actions bring about joy in our lives; indeed, we like to feel we have control. However, to put our trust in God means to let go and to live our life as the Lord intended for us to do—to live simply and to practice generosity is to proclaim and embody God’s will for justice.
Thankfully, God’s mercy is a gift to us, for our hope is grounded in entrusting our lives and future to God amidst ongoing strife.
Heavenly Lord, give us the courage to trust in you and do good. Fill our hearts with your Spirit so that we may grow in righteousness and be instruments of your peace. Amen.