The Promise of Abundant Life

The Promise of Abundant Life

Daily Reading: (John 10:10):

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

There are seasons we all go through where it doesn’t feel like a time of abundance. It feels lean, and the Apostle Paul even acknowledges lean times when he writes from prison the following: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:12). What this tells us is the abundant life, using the example of Paul’s life, the abundant life is not a life that is never in need. The abundant life is a life that when one has needs, receives all that is theirs in Christ (Philippians 4:11b-12).

So what exactly is the abundant life that I have in Christ and what does that look like lived out in the life of a believer? Those are the questions we should seek an answer to. When you go back to the story of Adam and Eve in the garden, we are given a clear picture of Satan’s motive. Satan used to be an angel in heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15), the one who led a rebellion against God and Scripture tells us that he took one-third of the angels with him (Revelation 12:4). Jesus says his purpose is to try and steal, kill, and destroy from mankind. He thought he was victorious as Adam and Eve sinned, but God had a plan. God would send His only Son, whose purpose is to give us who were dead in our sins, life.  he gave us a new life, His life, life to the full.

We have the abundant life in Christ, however, our enemy is still out there trying to steal from us what is ours. 1 Peter 5:8 says:“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). His motive has not changed.

Isn’t it interesting the devil has to seek out those whom he may devour? This means that he can’t devour everyone. You can be at a place where the devil will be unable to devour you. The secret is found in the preceding verse, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The secret is to be carefree and not be bogged down by anxieties and worries! Your greatest responsibility is to rejoice in the Lord always. We are not to not worry about past failures, present circumstances, or even future challenges. Release every oppressive thought, worry, and care to Jesus.

Did you also notice that 1 Peter 5:8 says the devil roams about like, or as, “a roaring lion”? In Proverbs 19:12, it says, “The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion (Proverbs 19:12). The devil is an imposter who goes about as a roaring lion because he is imitating the King of kings, the real lion of Judah, Jesus Christ. He wants people to think that our King is full of wrath, anger, and rage against us. He comes at us roaring with the voice of condemnation, accusation, and shame and he does it to try and rob from you the truth of who God is and what His disposition toward you is. When you run away from God, you are running straight into the devil’s snare and that is where he can devour you.

“The thief (speaking of Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

“May have” is the Greek word (echo) it means tht we might have and hold, it means you and I possess life (zōē): real and genuine life, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed.

What do you believe about your life? What do you believe about yourself? Do you believe that you are blessed, that you are abundantly blessed? You see the enemy is scared that you might actually believe and live as if your life is a blessed one. The enemy is afraid that you would live knowing that the things you put your hands to, the endeavors you set out for in this life will prosper. The people you encounter will be better as a result of knowing you.

You have and hold the blessed life and you have it to full (perissos): over and above, more than is necessary, superadded

David who found the Lord as His shepherd, the one who watched over him and protects him and loves him said in Psalm 23:5- “my cup runneth over.” “My cup runneth over” means “I have more than enough for my needs”.In desert cultures in the Middle East in times of antiquity, a person is required by laws of hospitality to provide a drink to strangers. The amount that was provided was indicative of how welcomed the guest was, and to pour a full glass or a glass that “ran over” would be reserved only for the most welcomed guest. This is what we have in Christ, super-abounding grace. Our cups overflow. We are the most welcomed guests in God’s presence because He has adopted us as His children. Our life cup runneth over, we are blessed- super-abundantly blessed.

The Promise of Rest

The Promise of Rest

Daily Reading: (Matthew 11:28-29):

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Did you know that God has promised you rest?We are a nation that for the most part is weary, tired, worn-out, depressed, agitated and afraid. Searching and seeking for the next thing that could help bring us relief. Every single one of us could benefit from finding rest. In fact, the Bible says in Hebrews 4:10-11 we are to labor or strive for only one thing: “For whoever enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:10-11). Let us make every effort to receive the rest Jesus is offering to us and we can do that by going to the promise of rest that Jesus made for us in Matthew 11:28-29.

Who should come to Jesus? The obvious answer should be everyone. Everyone needs Jesus. The text is clear. “All who are weary and burdened.” Should come to Him. Have you ever been weary and burdened in life? Yes! Come to Jesus- every single one of us.

Jesus is painting a word picture here this word in the Greek a metaphor is used of a man or woman who has a great load laid upon him/her, which he/she must carry to a certain place: every step reduces their strength, and renders the load all the more oppressive. The job of the Law was to help us realize how great a burden we carried that we are not going to make it to the grand destination of heaven if we try to carry the load ourself. Salvation happens when we lay our burdens down on the one who is willing to carry them for our sake, and we are given His rest (Matthew 11:28-29). “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).  

Each one of us were bound on heavy burdens; and laboring, by their observance of the law (which is unable to make any of us righteous), the Law and it’s requirements burdened us and weighed us down so that we might consider another way- a better way- an invitation to lay down your load, and receive the salvation procured for them by Christ. Come to me all you who are weary and burdened. It is a universal invitation to all.

The promise is that as you fill your mind with His word and take His yoke upon you, (which is His teaching) God will give you rest. Your situation doesn’t have to improve for rest to come. Your answer doesn’t need to be obvious for you to find rest. Come to Jesus and receive His finished work and there will be rest and there will peace in your soul today.

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness” (Proverbs 23:4). What this verse is warning us is that can wear yourself out trying to get to the place of not being weary anymore. You can’t achieve freedom from weariness or tiredness yourself. There is an invitation to all (the weary and burdened) and the promise is you will find/be given rest in Jesus.

Jesus wants to give you rest. And He says that the way you receive rest is to be yoked with Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. In ancient culture, the word yoke was a term that was used to describe submission. So, when someone was described as being yoked to someone or something, it was communicating the idea that he or she was in submission to that person or thing. To find rest is to submit ourselves to the teaching of Jesus.

Confusion and Understanding/Rest

Daily Reading: (1 Corinthians 14:33, Philippians 4:7):

“For God is not the author ofconfusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Don’t worry about a thing is the song lyrics that should be playing over our lives today. God’s desire for our lives is that we don’t dwell in the land of worry. Paul doesn’t stop with just a nice phrase, he’ll tell us how he has found it possible to be sitting on death row, worry-free. Part of the answer comes in verse five. “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” It is easy to forget during difficult and confusing times just how near God is (Philippians 4:5). If God feels far away and we forget He is with us in the trouble that will open the door for us to become troubled. But He is with us, and we can communicate with Him, and pray at any time. You are never alone in your trouble.

Don’t worry (merimnaō)don’t even take thought of it to the point of allowing it to trouble you. Worry will enter your mind, the key is when it does, to not allow your mind to stay there on that thought. If you do, it will eventually and very quickly trouble you.

Paul is telling us not to let your worry take you to the place where you think about it enough to trouble you and then he takes out his prescription pad and prescribes us the cure to relieve the horrible symptoms of worry.

“But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Paul actually borrowed this from David:

“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4 NLT).

The way that we eliminate worry is to bring those things that would worry us to God in prayer and the result is you will receive the peace of God. What a great exchange, worry for peace. When we have worry, pray and set your eyes on Jesus and let the Holy Spirit fill your hearts with the peace of God and His peace will set a guard over your heart and mind against worry from coming back in (Philippians 4:6-7).

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Paul drops this nugget, which we will extrapolate beyond just a chaotic worship service into the chaos of life. God is not a God of disorder or confusion but of (eirene) quietness, rest, tranquility (1 Corinthians 14:33). When things come on our lives that are disorienting and confusing, we can receive from God; rest, quietness in our soul, and tranquility.

Free From Condemnation

Free From Condemnation

Daily Reading: (Romans 8:1): “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Who wouldn’t want no condemnation? Every single one of us has done things and said things that we wish we would not have. Romans 8:1 is grace in a nutshell that God will not count my sins against me. I deserve to be punished for my sins. I deserve to be separated from God forever. I should be forever condemned but God gave me what I didn’t deserve when He sent Jesus to die for the penalty of my sins in my place, so that in Him I might be given His life and counted as righteous. This verse is easy to understand but yet so hard to believe when we mess up. God must be mad at me. God must have caused that shopping cart to dent my car to teach me a lesson for taking someone’s spot. I hear this all the time, “God is judging me”. “There is now no condemnation in Christ.” Your worst moments are forgiven and that is a hard thing for any of us to receive. Here is the result or the fruit of this truth: because of how greatly you have been forgiven you are now enabled to extend forgiveness to other people who don’t deserve it. I don’t know where we learned that someone has to say sorry or show remorse in order for us to forgive them. The only person you are hurting when you decide to carry an offense against you is yourself.

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).We all were guilty – the sentence was pronounced. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Now that we know just how guilty we were and the death sentence we faced we now see how great the love of God is toward us the criminals in order to save us and give us life. 

God’s grace that we have received by faith, gets out of the prison of sin and death at the cost of Jesus’ life. However, continuing to sin causes damaging consequences to you and people around you.

I don’t know if you have ever played the game of Monopoly before, but if you have, you would know you can receive something in the game that keeps you out of jail, a get out of jail free card. The nice thing about having the card is you don’t have to worry about rolling doubles too much or landing on the go to jail space or even receiving another card that sends you to jail, you can really enjoy going around the board and scooping up properties. If you have the get out of jail free card, it doesn’t mean you won’t do stupid stuff and make bad decisions during the game. Would you like to buy this property to make a set? No, I’m good. We can go around the boardgame of life and make some really stupid decisions and continue in sin even though we have been given the abundant life. Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]” (John 10:10b AMP). You have been given the opportunity to live the abundant life but you might choose to walk after the flesh.

One time I was playing the game of Monopoly and I was doing so bad that when I landed on community chest I received a card that said, “Go to jail, go directly to jail. Do not pass go do not collect $200.” My opponent asked if I was going to use my get out of jail free card? I told them that I would rather stay in prison, just so I didn’t have to pay them rent. That is the opposite of what abundance looks like, choosing prison over freedom. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). What this means is: “We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Through his blood our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because God’s grace is so rich” (Ephesians 1:7).

In life although you possess eternal life, although you possess all the spiritual promises made to us in Jesus it doesn’t mean that you will choose to live in the freedom you have been given and walk in victory.

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1).

[The Greek aorist tense would be better translated, “so that you may not commit an act of sin,” or the equivalent.]

God’s desire for you and me is that we do not sin, but if we do, we have Jesus the Righteous One as our Advocate (1 John 2:1) which means there is no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1).

The Greek word is paraklētos one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate of Christ in his exaltation at God’s right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins.

As our advocate, He pleads for what He has done in behalf of people; that is, by the plea that His sufferings and death in behalf of sinners have done as much to honor the law, and to maintain the truth and justice of God.

Now, it does not say that if anyone repents, we have an Advocate with the Father. It says that if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father. The moment a child of God sins, straightaway, his Advocate, Jesus Christ, goes into action to pray for and protect him.

There is no need to try and atone for your own sins – you can’t. Instead look to Jesus’ atonement as sufficient. Know that Jesus ensures that what He died and suffered to give you, you get! In heaven right now, He defends and represents you to ensure that the healing, wholeness, protection and other blessings that He died to give you are enforced in your life. Have confidence in and rest in the ability of your Advocate-Jesus Christ.

More Than Conquerors

More than Conquerors

Daily Reading: (Romans 8:37): “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Cyrus the Great, and even Hitler what did all these men all have in common. They were all conquerors. When we hear the word conqueror we might think of ones of these individuals, but the chances are we might not think of ourselves in that way. You are not just a conqueror, but more than a conqueror. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Since we know our battle is a spiritual one (Ephesians 6:12) it is significant to know that we are more than conquerors in the spiritual realm.

More than a conqueror- (hypernikaō)- to gain a surpassing victory.

What are the things that we are more than conquerors against? Paul list what we are more than conquerors against (in verse 35) and verses (38 and 39) and if you read the chapter in its entirety you would see a header that identifies the fact that Paul is talking about us living our life in the Spirit. Victory in the spiritual, (the battle in our mind), will manifest itself into the physical realm.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.” Do you believe the battle you are going through is for your good? If you see yourself as more than a conqueror in Christ you will. 

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” God > Everything Else  (Against Us) [Romans 8:31]. I recently taught my daughter Ava how to play the card game of War. I was dominating her early on and she was getting frustrated, but I hadn’t seen an Ace come up yet. I told her don’t lose heart because I have all your two’s, three’s, and four’s. I said it’s not the number of cards you have, it’s really about who holds the ace’s. And then she began to dominate me even though I had more cards because she held all four aces. If God is for us (the Ace), it doesn’t matter how the cards fall in the moment- who could be against us? The victory is ours in Jesus. As a child of God, you have an inheritance. Knowing the victory we have in Christ is crucial as we move forward, led by the Spirit as more than conquerors.

Ambassadors of Christ

Ambassadors of Christ

Daily Reading: (2 Corinthians 5:20): “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

There are many Christians who are not engaging in the ministry of reconciliation as an ambassador of Christ because no one ever told them what they are and they never studied out properly what this text is telling them. God had selected you and appointed you as Christ’s ambassador with a life changing message.

What is an ambassador exactly? Presbeuō in the Greek means to be an ambassador.An Ambassador is a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity.So all believers have been chosen to act as a representative of Jesus Christ with a specific activity in mind. What exactly does God have in mind for us or what exactly are we in our lives to be about? For far too long the church universal throughout the ages has at times misrepresented our identity and has promoted the wrong message. We have been more focused on what we are against then promoting the message of what we are for. We are ministers of reconciliation as the very ambassadors of Christ. Our churches should be the most reconciling, peaceable, happy places in town. 

The message or the activity that we are to share it is right there in the text twice. First in the verse before this declaration of what we are (verse 19) and then right after it (same verse 20) just to reinforce it and make sure we understand it.

What is my role as an ambassador? Verse 19 and 20

“This is the message of Christ’s ambassadors: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

And then…

“God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

If you are about anything other than this you are off mission as ambassador.

As Christ’s ambassadors- you are a minister of (katallagē): the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ.

Wherever God has placed you, whatever gifting He has given to you, it shall be used to tell others the good news of the Gospel of Jesus that in Christ there is favor with God forever.

Paul reinforces the supremacy of the ministry of reconciliation and the only thing he changes is he calls it a word or message of reconciliation (verse 19) instead of a ministry (verse 18). He uses the Greek word ‘Logos’. In chapter 1 of John, John identifies Christ as the Logos. What this means in this subtle shift is that the way we proclaim the favor of God (the ministry of reconciliation) is by proclaiming Christ as the reconciler and the only way to bring restoration in relationship with God our Father (2 Corinthians 5:19).

An ambassador is a representative. His message, his authority are given to him by his king. What authority do we go out into the world on this reconciliation message with… the authority of Jesus, all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).

Royal By Blood

Royal By Blood

Daily Reading: (Ephesians 1:5): “He predestined us for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

Some Bibles will include a footnote that says that the Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture. We have been adopted into God’s family with full legal standing as a child of God. This means that you are royal by (Jesus’)blood (Ephesians 1:5). Christ shed blood brought you into the family of God. What this should do is elevate our minds to see the kind of love God has for us, and our new God-given identity we have in Christ changes the way we behave- because those who are in Christ are now royal.

Because of who you became in Jesus, a member of the royal family, every spiritual blessing is yours (Ephesians 1:3).Your old life could not compare in any way to your new royal life. Your blood bought adoption right means that any and all spiritual blessings are ours.

Thanks to Jesus’ half-brother James he writes that generally speaking many times we don’t have what we ask for because of one of two reasons. James writes in James 4:2 “You do not have because you do not ask God.” You might not ask God because perhaps you don’t even know what is available to you as your spiritual inheritance (Ephesians 1:11).

“You do not receive” (lambanō) lay hold of, to take what is one’s own, claim for one’s self. “Because you ask with (kakos) improperly, wrong motives so that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures” (hēdonē) it is where we get our word hedonism from. The heart of what James is writing is that we should in prayer, claim what Christ has purchased for us to have through faith (James 4:2-3).

“An adopted child received a new identity. Any prior commitments, responsibilities and debts were erased. New rights and responsibilities were taken on. Also, in ancient Rome, the concept of inheritance was part of life, not something that began at death. Being adopted made someone an heir to their father, joint-sharers in all his possessions and fully united to him.”[1]  Adoption is a constant reminder that we are fully desired, fully loved; that we have taken on a new identity through Jesus; that we were created for Heaven, but even now, are heirs to God, “co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).


[1] Ellen Mady. https://aleteia.org/2017/09/12/how-the-roman-practice-of-adoption-sheds-light-on-what-st-paul-was-talking-about/ September 12, 2017.

Prayers and Provisions of the Spirit

Prayers and Provisions of the Spirit

Daily Reading: (Philippians 1:19):

“For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” 

You do not need to fear the path ahead if you know who goes with you and the provisions that have been made for you in Christ Jesus. Paul in uncertainty is certain of his deliverance and it comes from the prayers of the believers at Philippi and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus.

In the same chapter Paul wrote in verses 12 and 13 that he is in prison for his faith and he wants us to know that what has happened to him has actually served to advance the gospel. God will use those things that look to imprison us to set the captives of sin free (to advance the Gospel) Philippians 1:12. The only way that you can share the Gospel without fear is if you see the love God has for you. God can use your situation for His salvation to reach others. 

“For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19).

“Deliverance” is the word for salvation (soteria). Because we know that the apostle Paul is in Christ, he is already eternally saved, the definition he must be using is deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation from his enemies. This is fascinating to me because somehow Paul knows he will be delivered here.

How can I be certain of anything in uncertain times? There is a clue in the text in verse 19 as the word for prayer is not a normal Greek word used for prayer. THE church is asking God for something specific- their prayer is focused, united, and Spirit-led. The church is asking God for something specific (deēsis): a need, seeking asking God, wanting something specific (Paul’s deliverance). 

For Paul there is a certainity in the uncertain because the prayers of God’s people where coupled with the provisions of the spirit of Christ. The Spirit led them in how they should pray, what was God’s will for Paul in this situation was his deliverance. Praying in the Spirit is relying on the Spirit in prayer. Because the Spirit moved on the Body of Christ to pray for Paul’s release from prison, he is certain this will be the outcome.

What is praying in the Spirit why is it important and how did it give Paul confidence in uncertainty?

Make Jesus your resting place, and all will be well. You will sleep in the storm. To pray in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and worship in the Spirit (John 4:24) is to come before the Lord according to His appointed means—that is through the One whom the Spirit magnifies, the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:26-27), The Holy Spirit also takes our prayers and perfects them before the Almighty (Romans 8:26). The Holy Spirit prays within us when we cannot utter a word (Romans 8:26). When you are praying in submission to the Lord God and His Son, the Holy Spirit within you will testify to Jesus in His Word, in your prayers, and even in those other believers praying with you. These things and so much more are ignited by the dynamite of praying in the Spirit. Praying in the Holy Spirit is God’s glorious means of advancing His will on earth as it is in heaven.

The Temptation of Success

The Temptation of Success

Daily Reading: (Luke 4:42-44): “Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them;but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.”

Before Jesus’ Galilean ministry started (Luke 4:14) Satan first tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). Now Jesus would be tempted in different ways through rejection in his hometown (Luke 4:28-29) and then success in the crowd’s desire for Him to stay (Luke 4:42). It was Jesus’ communication with God the Father (Luke 4:42) as He retreated to a desert place that moved Him forward to the next place that God decreed.

Jesus is successful in not falling to the devil’s temptation unlike Adam in the Garden of Eden. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ, shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). Jesus Christ is our success.

Our Lord Jesus showed us what to do when we are under attack by the devil. Against each attack, His response was to say, “It is written” (Matthew 4:1–11). Jesus used the Word of God.

The beauty of the simplicity of Luke 4:42 shows us that those who seek Jesus will find Him. Proverbs 8:17: those who seek me find me.” I love how the conditions the people were in (Luke 4:40) is what led the people to seek Jesus. Just as those who are sick will seek out a doctor, we are to seek the Great Physician for our healing. We all know people who seem to be down and out as they are experiencing the effect of sin which is sickness. May those who do not know God’s love or are in need of receiving more revelation of God’s love, may their situation led them to seek Jesus, and the promise is they will find Him. And this finding Christ is a work of God (John 12:32).

The crowds sought Jesus they came to Him and had a request “that he should not depart from them.” The reason I know this is not what God would have of Jesus is that the Greek word used is katechō which means to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of).

“And he said unto them, I must”- (dei)- necessity established by the counsel and decree of God.

How do I know when a good thing is not necessarily the right thing? When we seek God’s counsel we will know how to respond. 

Stability in the Stillness

Stability in the Stillness

Daily Reading: (Psalm 37:1,3-5,7): “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong. Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight 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. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways.”

The Psalm starts off with a very common struggle we all have in moments when someone who is not a very good person has something great happen to them while we don’t seem to have the same success. In life we can easily become envious when we see things happen for other people. When I have become envious I have stopped trusting God and feeding on His faithfulness (Psalm 37:3). The opposite of envy we see is faith, or trust (verse 3), or delighting in God (verse 4), or rolling your burdens onto the Lord.

The reward that comes from trusting God is that you will pasture in a land that is green. Your desires will be met (Psalm 37:3-4). As you delight in and trust in God your desires begin to shift. Before you might have been envious of those who are evil, but now you see them through eyes of compassion and realize how bankrupt they really are.

Verse four is an amazing promise because envy usually arises from not having a desire of your heart. You will see somebody that has something that you wish you had, and you’ll desire it to the point it can lead to envy.  So, the best way to fight the temptation to envy is to go to the promise of Psalm 37:4 and say, “Now Lord, you have made a promise to me in verse four. You say that, if I will put my delight in you, you will give me the desires of my heart. So I am now going to delight in you for you always keep your promises.” Trusting in God sufficiently enables you to rest in who He is for you and this will have a profound effect on the kind of desires you must have met in order to be content.

“Take delight 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.”

Be still or rest in the Lord. Let God work in your life. The opposite of trust can be movement or work. There is stability to be found in the stillness because I am allowing God to mold my desires to be the desires He has for me. Envy is removed as I build my trust in Him. In the stillness and the rest I need, I am leaving the whole matter with Him without being anxious as to the result. Another definition here for stillness is silence. Why is silence important when you have a dialogue going on with another? It allows the other party a chance to respond where you will hear them. In the silence I am waiting patiently for His response.