The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

July 13, 2013

INSTANT MESSAGE: Delight Yourself in the Lord

By CRAIG HARRIS
Palestine Herald-Press

Psalm 37: 4-9 (NIV): 4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 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. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil. 9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

    David was seeing something that bothered him. He was seeing wicked men succeed in life. That went against the prevailing thought of the day. He had probably been taught that God would cause you to succeed if he was pleased with you. We still struggle with this idea today – won’t God bless us with success if we trust in him?

    But the world is simply not that black and white. Some people become very successful even though they do not care for God. Some people who love God just can’t seem to get ahead. David encourages us to keep on trusting in God no matter what we see around us. To delight in God is to enjoy him. And not just a little, but enjoy him most of all. This is the heart of the message of the Bible: God wants us to fellowship with him, to love him, to depend on him, to receive our joy from him. When we do this, he will take care of us.

    Waiting patiently for God is trusting in him even when we are not seeing him act on our behalf. We pray to God and tell him our needs, then we wait on him to answer. This is what trust is all about. For one thing, we trust that God knows better than we do what our desires and needs truly are. When he hope in God – and this means we put our trust completely in him – we will inherit “the land”, we will possess his promises. And God promises courage, strength, joy, and above all, salvation.

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Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel The Dead Peasants File are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist Churches.