As You Look to a New Year…

2019 is here. If you’re like me, you have ideas for what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. You have dreams, desires and plans. Did you know that God has grander plans for you than you have for yourself? Let me encourage you with a word from Psalm 37 about trusting in the Lord for the coming year.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Delight in the Lord. When you delight in the Lord, your trust becomes worship. According to the Westminster catechism, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. God created us to delight in him. You delight in the Lord by learning to reflect on his grace in your life and worshiping him for his glory. When you delight in the Lord, he promises to give you the desires of your heart. This promise does not somehow mean that if we delight correctly, we’ll get what we want. You should not think of it like a Christmas list. I’m going to figure out what delighting in God looks like so I can get what I want. Rather, when we really delight in the Lord, we’ll begin to realize that he is all we need. Those desires that remain when we are truly delighting in the Lord are desires that God intends to fulfill.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:5

Commit your way to the Lord. When you commit your way to the Lord, trust becomes surrender. In the original language, committing your way to the Lord is more than just praying about something. The idea is that we “roll” our concerns onto the Lord. Literally, when we commit our way to the Lord, we roll our burdens, anxieties and decisions onto him. In short, too many of us are carrying pressures we were not meant to carry. The stress is palpable. We remain burdened because we continue trying to carry our situations and concerns on our own shoulders. If we want the Lord to act, if we want the Lord to guide and direct our steps, then we must commit our way to him. We need to trust him by rolling our concerns and worries onto him. We need to surrender our need to be in control, and trust the Lord to be in control.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

Wait on the Lord. When you are still and wait on the Lord, your trust becomes as patient, but active anticipation. Notice first that David tells us to be still which literally means to be silent. Some of us talk too much, and I don’t mean to other people. I mean that we talk too much to God. Our prayers are not offered in surrender and trust. Rather, we give God advice and suggestions. For example we say, “God, here’s my situation. I’m going to try to trust you with it. Here’s how you can fix it. Give me this. Solve this issue. Deal with this person.” Now, while we might not be quite so bold, our prayers too often follow a pattern like this. Instead, we are to roll our concerns to the Lord and leave them there. We are to be still and wait on the Lord. Don’t mistake waiting for being passive. In the original language, to wait had the idea of being in labor. For a mother to be in labor and to give birth is an act of waiting. But it is definitely not passive; it is active and often difficult. But it is worth it. I’ve yet to meet the mom (no matter how difficult the labor) who said that it wasn’t worth it. Maybe you’re in a period of waiting. Maybe it’s difficult or even painful. Get spiritually active. Lead others to follow Jesus. Worship the Lord. Learn to follow Jesus. Serve others. Replicate the life of Jesus in others.

Work while you wait. It is a glorious expression of trust in the Lord. Ask yourself as you move into 2019. Am I delighting in the Lord? Am I committing my way to him? Am I waiting on the Lord? If you want him to act, then trust. Let Psalm 37 guide your expression of trust in the New Year.

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