Fret Not

by Missi

Here’s the truth …

Do you ever find yourself watching the news and find that you want to throw something at the TV? Do you find yourself arguing, debating, and even yelling at the person on TV? Do you feel overwhelmed by all the bad things going on that you see and hear? Are you living in fear of changes that could be happening in your life? Maybe not outwardly, but inwardly?

 An exasperated husband asked his wife, “Why are you always worrying when it doesn't do any good?” She quickly answered, “Oh, yes it does! Ninety percent of the things I worry about never happen!”

 We laugh, but isn't that true? We think our worrying will change things. . . . It does. It changes us. It changes our hearts and minds so much that we forget to carry our burdens, worries, and fears to the only One Who can actually do something about it. We forget God.

 Everywhere we look, ungodliness is being promoted! Things like abortion, terrorism, abuse of children, ungodly lifestyles, immorality, etc. Not only do we see this on our television and internet, we see this in our workplaces, our churches, and even our homes.

At Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  by Dale Chihuly  A visual image of fretting!

At Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

by Dale Chihuly

A visual image of fretting!

 Let me say this, evil is not passive. Evil is active. It is constantly moving all around us. So, how am I to react? What does Scripture tell me to do?

 Let's open our Bibles and look at Psalm 37 together. This Psalm was written by David. We know that when he wrote this, he was an older man. Look at verse 25. David had lived a long life. He had seen quite a bit of wrongdoing, and now he is reflecting on that and sees that God has been in control the whole time.

 Look at verse 1. What are we NOT to do? “Fret not thyself.”

 Look at verse 7. “Fret not thyself.”

Look at verse 8. “Fret not thyself.”

 Think this might be important?

 The word fret means to agitate, irritate, get overheated about something, to be anxious, to worry, etc.; and let's face it, sisters, we as women are very good at worrying and fretting! We fret about our weight, our finances, our jobs, our families, our futures, who said what about us, who didn't say anything to us . . . on and on the list goes. We can fret about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING! And you know what? We are pretty good at it! We can get worked up over problems, and they don't even have to be “our” problems! We can get upset and worry about things that we don't really know anything about! It might be our second cousin's friend's mother's daughter's boyfriend's sister's problem! But we will fret about it and sometimes even get angry over it, and it has nothing to do with us!

 But, what does God say? In verse 8, there is a connection between fretting and anger. “Cease from anger and forsake wrath.” What does it mean to cease? Forsake? It means to stop! Leave it! Turn away from it!

 It’s so easy to get uptight, agitated, and become vocal about things, but that is opposite of what God tells us to do. When we react by getting angry, and fretting over evildoers, we become evildoers. We think bad thoughts, and sometimes even act on them. We gossip, tale-bear, slander, snub, ignore, and even sow discord. Our actions can also cause others to sin. We can't control what someone else does, but we certainly don't want to be the reason someone sins.

 Now, sometimes we are pretty good at hiding it outwardly. After all, we are “Christians.” But what about inwardly? You know, the part no one sees? “Fret not” is talking about our heart attitude. Our response to sinful people, to evil circumstances, to things that “might” happen to us, really reveal what is in our heart. We fret. We sin.

 So, why does God tell us to “fret not?” Because we are not God. God is in control. He can manage this situation. He sees everything that is going on. He can change it . . . in HIS time. If He does not change the situation, then He will give us His strength and grace to go through it, showcasing His power and glory.

 When we fret, we are trying to BE God—trying to change something we are not in charge of—because we are full or pride and think our way is best. God says, “Fret not.”

 Let’s make this practical. What can we do when we feel that “fret monster” coming at us? We use Scripture to combat it! Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” We also read in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things” (KJV).

 The key is keeping our mind focused on God and His Word and not on what “might” happen. In my own life, I have been putting this into practice daily, actually moment by moment. Due to issues at the company my husband works for, we may be moving temporarily or permanently anywhere from two hours away to 18 hours away. Maybe. Probably. It's been so easy to worry and fret, but God has been teaching me to keep my mind focused on what I know to be true. God is good. God will provide. God already has everything planned out. He is still on the throne. All I have to do is trust.

 We all are faced with things every day that can cause us to fret, big things and small. It's hard. It's a real struggle. But I choose to stop fretting and trust my precious Lord and Savior. Will you?