A Powerful Life Lesson from Psalm 37

Discover how this psalm can help you align your life with God's plan and live joyfully.

By Elizabeth Peale Allen, Pawling, New York

Psalm 37 is a powerful and practical manual for life. Within its first eight verses are rich insights for finding joy and ridding yourself of negative thinking.

Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
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 do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the
         noonday sun.
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.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil. –Psalm 37:1-8

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This Psalm gives us “do-not” commands, behaviors we must leave behind to find God’s blessing and peace. Do not worry or be envious (verse 1). Let each day find you grateful for what God has given you. Do not be an angry, vindictive individual (verse 8). Forgive as you have been forgiven; practice gentleness and self-control.

But this Psalm also gives us positive actions we need to take to bring us into alignment with God’s plan for living joyfully.

1. Trust in the Lord (verse 3).
Whatever bothers you, trust God to be able to handle it better than you can.

2. Do good (verse 3).
Life is about choices. Know that God will honor you when you do the right thing.

3. Delight yourself in the Lord (verse 4).
Fall in love with Jesus. Take time every day to sit quietly in his presence. Learn to delight in him.

4. Commit your way to the Lord (verse 5).
Trust all you do, every day, all your life, to God; he is able to handle it best.

5. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (verse 7).
This does not mean to do nothing. Rather, it means that after you have done all you can, you should relax in the knowledge that God will take care of the rest.

We live in a world where advice blares from television and talk radio, streams from blogging sites; where friends and sometimes even strangers are eager to offer opinions about your life. So it’s good to know that the Bible is still relevant. Reliable. And oh so true!

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Your Comments (9)

I needed to read that. Thank you so much. To God Be The Glory, Amen.

Thank you for your clear and concise words of wisdom and guidance from Psalm 37; it was and is exactly what I need right now. There are several "trials" and demands going on right now in my family's life, and being the mother, I feel the weight of it all. I can never get enough reaffirmation that God is there, always loving and guiding, and that I must commit and trust in the Lord with everything. He will provide all out needs.

I just feel like I can't win for losing feels like God has forsaken me the more I pray and try to live right the more hell I go through. Relationhips,finances stress needed to read this am still trying to have faith. Thank you

when I show up for work with many desires and expectations, the day can be nothing but challenges and trouble. When I approach the day with the thought of service and Focus on each Present moment and what it brings I find life is in Flow.

Look deep inside and find your passion, your special gift that you have brought with you. By slowly and surely staying the course and applying the will power that God has given us your flower will blossom.

Praying for your challenges and knowing the pendulum always swings the other way when we stay the course....Blesssings

TY for this! I am in one of the "do not"s, and it generally strikes me on holidays: when I go into social media and see happy photos of people spending time with parents, spouses, and adult children (living honorable lives!) and grands. And such beautiful homes! And the ability to vacation! I have none of that (obviously) ... so I needed to see this Psalm and the devotional, so I can be turned around to where I should be looking!!!

Because others appear happy successful fulfilled doesn't make it so! We only see what they want to portray. Their hearts may be hurting just as yours is. When I'm having some of the feelings you've shared it always helps me to REACH OUT to someone else. They need you as much as you need them. Praying for peace joy and love for your weekend. And that bowl of ice cream.

I can relate as I have no family either. Hard to see and hear about everyone else having plans for holidays and you just hope that someone will ask you to join them. I will continue to pray and believe that God has a plan for you and for me.

This has been a confirmation on so many different levels.

Thank you for this message; it is timely for me. I have been asking God for funding of our FBO and He has Answered. Hallelujah! This message today Confirms what I have been Praying for in implementing the project; He IS the Only Partner and through the Holy Spirit the Only Guidance through Jesus Chist the Only Intercessor to make it A Great Success and give All the Glory to God. Thank You God in the Mighty Name of Jesus Chist. Amen and Amen.