I Was Just Thinking About – LETTING GO.
The past few days I’ve been working on a sermon, Delighting In God’s Blessings. Each morning, I usually read the Devotional, Get More Strength for the Journey by Joseph Stowell. His text today referenced Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” He wrote: It instructs us to be still and know that He is God. The Hebrew phrase for ‘be still’ literally means, ‘to put your hands down to the side; to relax.’ Which leads us to this reading of the phrase: ‘Put your arms down and relax by knowing that I am God.’ I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it hard to just ‘relax’ in the midst of confusing and disheartening seasons of life. When things go haywire, when dreams are demolished, when family is fragmented, when people have pulverized us, it’s hard to relax! Our instinct is to try to keep our hands on all the pieces at once. We want to manipulate and control them and force the outcome that we desire. But God says that we should do exactly the opposite—stop trying to force the issue and let go. If we don’t give up striving with the problems, our meddling usually just makes things worse. Thankfully, Psalm 46:10 calls on us to let go. But it’s not letting go without knowing to whom we’re letting it go. Notice that the verse says: ‘Be still, and know.’ Normally, when life is a confusing puzzle, what we know is over-shadowed by what we feel. Our emotions threaten to drown us like a scary tsunami. It’s easy to get submerged in a wave of anxiety or a surge of self-pity. But notice that God says the only way we are going to be able to let go and relax is to remember who God is—and to know that He loves us, that He is not confused, that He is in the details, and that, as we obey and trust Him, He is working to make sense of it all.”
Part of my sermon: “Delighting In God’s Blessings,” will be referencing Psalm 37. It contains the similar word from for the need to “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 37 references the word “fret” several times. An obvious truth would have us remember this basic thought: No matter how many “fret” occasions or situations that occur, we should quickly re-focus and delight in the many more ‘blessings’ the Lord brings into our lives. An old Hymn reminds us: “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” I remember hearing a sermon where it was suggested the wording could be changed to: “Count your blessings, name them by the score; and it will surprise you there are many, many more.”
Throughout Scripture, we are instructed by: (1) The Psalmist – Do not fret; (2) By Jesus – Do not worry (Matthew 6:25-34); and (3) By Paul – Do not be anxious – (Philippians 4:6). Now – for those who have the propensity to regularly absent themselves from Worship Services, that is the sermon in a nutshell. Question: Do you believe and practice this instruction? If not, you need to return to delighting yourself in the Lord.
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.