I dare say that many of us have spent a great deal of time lately worrying. And what I’ve discovered is that worrying is exhausting…both mentally, physically, and spiritually. But what I also must admit – is that worrying is very counter-productive, doesn’t change anything, and only produces apprehension within me. But there’s something else worrying creates and Psalm 37:8 talks about it…”Do not fret – it leads only to evil.” The Greek word for “evil” here means harm and/or unbelief. In other words, when I worry, I’m telling God I don’t trust Him. Ouch! In this verse Jesus was telling His disciples to focus on Him, not the temporal…to concentrate on the eternal, not the material. Oswald Chambers summed this up well when he wrote, “God doesn’t give us overcoming life…He gives us life as we overcome.”
As I sat pondering these verses, I wondered just how many hours of my life I’ve frittered away worrying over things I had absolutely no control over? Jesus wanted His disciples to take on a eternal perspective of their temporal lives here on earth. In other words, He was telling them to look at their human bodies and worldly possessions through the lens or view of eternity. And besides, Jesus continued, worrying is a waste of time and can’t add a single hour to our lives. (Matthew 6:27)
Distress comes in many different forms, and no one is immune to worry. But it’s how we approach difficulties and troubles that can make the difference between barely wallowing through them, and coming out the other side better not bitter. This Psalm gives us a blueprint or a road-map, if you will, when it comes to offering our supplication before the Lord. First we need to realize that when we cry out to God, He actually hears us. He’s not some far off entity… aloof and distant. Rather, God longs to hear our prayers and work in and through the troubles we’re going through. Next, He’s a just God full of kindness…He knows what we’re going through and wants to help. Finally, He’s a listening God. For when there’s no one else you can confide in…He’s always there.
Jesus was spending time here teaching His disciples about priorities. He started out, by encouraging them not to be worried because they didn’t possess the “things” that the world viewed as valuable. Jesus instead told them to, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” In other words, when our priorities are in the right place…God first, Family next, the World last… God will bless and take care of us.