. . . The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession . . . because the Lord loved you . . . Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong . . . Trust in the Lord and do good . . . Commit your way to the Lord . . . Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
The feeling of being loved is the best feeling of all. Just reading the words of Deuteronomy can make you feel incredibly special; knowing you are God's treasured possession. It also tells us how to always know and feel his love - by keeping his commands. Psalm 37 shares ways in which we can follow God and know that he is ever faithful.
Lent lasts for forty days. It is a time of repentance, fasting, and preparation for the coming of Easter. The forty days of Lent represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptations of Satan. During that time, our Lord found the strength to resist them all. It was after this when he began his ministry.
When reading Psalm 37, I thought of the wilderness in which we live - our world. Temptation and evil are everywhere and, at times, it seems that the evildoers get more of the "spotlight" than those who are doing good deeds. When this happens, people have a tendency to gravitate toward the bad instead of focusing on what is good. Giving into temptation is easier than choosing the good and righteous way.
How then can we use these forty days to strengthen ourselves and, like Jesus, overcome temptation? In Psalm 37, three verses stood out to me as things we can think about and reflect upon in our own lives. Challenges we can take.
- Trust in the Lord and do good - We must trust that God is our faithful God. He loves us and will provide for us. We can do good by taking this time to reach out and help others. Volunteering, sending words of encouragement to someone, or donating to Christian charities are all opportunities to do good and share God's love.
- Commit your way to the Lord - During this season, commit, or re-commit, everything to God. When we trust God with our lives (e.g. family, marriage, job), we begin to look at life differently. We can have peace knowing that God is in control and loves us more than we can possibly imagine.
- Be still before the Lord - For me, this is all about making time to be with him with no distractions. Take time each day to talk with God, but also remember to be still and listen. If it is only the sounds of nature you hear, they, too, are signs that God is with you.
Each day of Lent, remind yourself of the immeasurable love God has for you. Take time to examine how you are living your life and begin to make changes where they are needed. At the end of the season, you will be on your way to beginning your own ministry of sharing God's love, just like Jesus did.
Psalms 37:1-18 or 37:19-42