Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. -Psalm 37:3-5
As a worship leader, I love a good Psalm. It is my most-read book of the Bible and I love to refresh my mind most mornings by reading a Psalm. I find it encouraging to let my prayers become one with the words of that Psalm and be reminded of so many good truths about God.
Today’s theme in Psalm 37 is to trust God and to wait for Him. I went to a seminar my sophomore year at Furman, for which the subject matter and the speaker escape me, but something she said still comes into my mind every so often: “The kingdom of God is a kingdom of delayed gratification.”
In today’s world of immediate gratification – Chipotle opened yesterday and you best believe I have my online order entered and paid for today’s lunch; waiting in lines is for suckers – God tells us something different. Wait. How fitting for this season of Advent. When the rest of the world skips straight to Christmas, we remind ourselves during Advent that this world is not yet the place that God means it to be. We wait for God to come again and create a new heaven and new earth and only then will everything be made right.
Let’s make that “waiting” more personal and immediate than waiting for the second coming of Christ. Psalm 37 tells me to “commit (my) way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” This lets me know that my decision is supposed to be made to follow God, even before the moment of temptation comes up.
Let’s take a real-life situation, which I guarantee will arise in my life within the next couple weeks of Christmas celebrations. I’m at a party and all of my friends are getting drunk, and FOMO is coming on strong? No worries. It’s not even an option for me to get caught up in the moment, because I have committed my way to the Lord years ago. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I am a new person with new desires, and the Holy Spirit puts into my life a new overpowering desire to please him. The temptation may be there, but God’s power enables me to know that I belong to Him now and to joyfully wait for the delayed gratification of committing my way to the Lord. The decision was made long beforehand about what person I am, long before the night of the party.
So – open up the book of Psalms. You never know how it might provide you encouragement for your day!
As promised during Youth Group…time for some items from Question Box!
How do we defend our faith against people persecuting Christianity who say Jesus himself wasn't even a Christian?
Christian means little Christ. Jesus is Christ so yeah he isn't technically a Christian. He is God. He has followers but he only follows his father. Just be confident in what you believe in. Which first means you must know what you believe and have scripture to back it up. Stand firm on that but treat everyone with the fruit of the spirit and not from a place of anger superiority or attack.
How do we know when God is with us?
He's always with us. We can look to see how he is ordering things in our days. Maybe people he places in a certain place at a certain time to say something to us. The more time you spend in prayer and scripture the more you will know God and his character and be able to see him moving and working.