September 2021 Message from Pastor Greg

Words of Assurance That We Can Trust!

One of the comments I’ve heard (or a question that seems to be asked by many people) these days is, “How do we know what’s true and what’s false when there’s so much conflicting and contradictory information coming at us in our society today?” Before anyone assumes this article is leading toward something controversial or political, let me assure you that it’s not. My desire/goal here is to point our thoughts in another direction. This is my third run at writing this article—I started well over a week ago using Psalm 37 as the basis for what I planned to write; then I shifted gears and temporarily changed my mind after reading another Psalm in my personal devotions; but now I’m pointing everyone’s attention back to Psalm 37. This is a powerful reminder of how important it is to consistently trust in the Lord, take refuge in Him, and rely on His faithfulness to His promises by reviewing how He always does exactly what He says He will do. His justice system is perfect, but that requires us to recognize that His final judgment is yet to come.

—Psalm 37:1 … 3—4 … 7—8 … 27—28 1 Don’t fret when wicked people seem to succeed. Don’t envy evildoers. … 3 Trust in the Lord and do what’s right;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.  …
7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Don’t fret because of him who prospers in his way,
because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. 8 Cease from anger and becoming frustrated;
Don’t fret; it leads only to evildoing. …
27 Turn away from evil. Do what is right. Then you will enjoy lasting security. 28 For the Lord loves to govern with justice, and never abandons His faithful followers. They are permanently secure, but the children of the wicked are wiped out.

Please notice the portions of Psalm 37 I’ve inserted above. I wish I could have included all 40 verses, but that wasn’t possible. So instead, I’d also like to encourage everyone to take time (maybe several days of repeated reading and reviewing) to reflect on what King David wrote in this psalm. He was deeply aware of the challenges we might face because of the problem of evil throughout our world. He understood every angle or aspect of the nature of wickedness. His life’s story included the harmful impact of his own sin as well as the sinfulness of others. But David also knew about the grace and goodness of our Lord God Almighty! With the remaining space I have, I’d like to highlight and identify some ideas that help us to apply the truths imbedded within the words Psalm 37. Here are some explanations and thoughts to consider:

—1— This psalm was written as a series of instructions about how to respond to those times when people seem to “get away” with doing wrong. The word “fret” actually means “to burn or become overheated.” We’re being warned about the possibility of overreacting to things that seem unfair or unjust. It’s typical for us to become emotionally frustrated, irritated, or annoyed. But please notice what will counteract these reactions. We’re advised to “trust the Lord,” “take delight or pleasure in His authority,” and “to rest in His promises.” God wants us to recognize the benefits of our relationship with Him. He is our Strength in times of trouble! (verse 39)

—2— Throughout this psalm, David acknowledges that in a sinsaturated society, injustice, mischief, and shame are going to cause problems for anyone who wants to follow the Lord faithfully. We should know this truth! However, rather than fretting and focusing on what’s wrong, those who want to honor/obey the Lord need to realize that our refuge is found in our faith in Christ. There are many things happening in our culture today that are unsettling and upsetting. It’s easy to fret and allow frustration to control our minds. But according to verse 8, that will eventually lead us into evildoing. Please carefully observe Psalm 37:23—34, especially verse 28. This section is reminding us that God knows the steps of those who love and trust Him. Similar to what we find in Romans 8:1, 28—39, we are promised that He will never forsake those who are faithfully following Him—those who are in Christ will never be condemned or separated from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

—3— How do we know what’s true? God’s Word is always a source of Truth! Psalm 37 has an encouraging and powerful message to remind us of the benefit and blessing of trusting the Lord!

With prayer for God’s glory and praise for His grace … And also, with prayer for our ACEFC family,  Pastor Greg 

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