Stay cool

Stay cool

Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalms 37:4

Psalms 37:1-8

 1 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.

 3 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

 5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.

 6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

 7 Be still in the presence of the LORD and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

 8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm.

What is anger?

Anger is the emotional response to an external or internal event perceived as a threat, a violation, or an injustice. It has been widely theorized that anger is a version of the fight or flight response, which in turn can help protect us from danger.

There is an emotional response cycle that gives rise to anger. Emotions are generated by internal (thoughts, feelings, physiological states) or external events. Such events are immediately interpreted by our thoughts (often unconsciously. Our perception and understanding then give rise to internal neurochemical reactions. that we experience the emotion of anger. We then react to the anger either internally with more thoughts or emotions and/or externally through behavior and actions (uhs.berkeley.edu/bewellatwork).

How often do we become mildly or totally unsettled when we hit bumps in the road when we do not get our own way, or what we expected? Rather than remaining calm, we become angry, even livid.

Pause for a moment and ask yourself, what good does it do to get angry?

The short answer: none!

A longer answer: The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20).

The Father has a more excellent way. Rather than becoming critical, agitated, or angry, we can choose to respond rather than react. We can look at the big picture. We can choose not to fret.

Psalms 37:1 Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers.

The Hebrew word charah translated fret or worry means to burn, to get heated up, become agitated, or irritated.

David’s message was, ‘Cool down and keep cool!’. . . He argues that the wicked are temporary and will one day be gone” (Wiersbe). A fretting heart is not a trusting heart. Fretting leads to anger. “David gave one negative instruction – “Don’t fret” Psalms 37:1, 7, 8) – and four positive instructions: trust in the Lord (Psalms 37:3), delight in the Lord (Psalms 37:4), commit yourself to the Lord (Psalms 37:5-6), and rest in the Lord (Psalms 37:7)” (Wiersbe).

Rather than simply repressing our natural negative reactions and feelings, we can develop the art and skill of replacing them with positive ones. David shows the way for every child of the King. David lived his life by trusting in the Father and doing good; taking delight in the Father; committing everything he did to the Father, and He knew that the Father had his back and would help him.

James provides similar advice.

James 1:2-4

 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

REFLECT & PRAY

Is it really that simple? Yes, indeed it is. Rather than react with raw emotions to the vicissitudes of life, every child of the King can learn and practice acting out the Father’s instructions by staying cool and reflecting.  

Father I recognize how often I fret and become angry when I do not get my way. This is entirely natural. Encourage and strengthen me to live according to the life principles You have set forth for children of the King.

INSIGHT

But there’s more! As we learn and practice to do what the Father tells us, there is a marvelous outcome, an unexpected consequence. He gives us the desires of our heart, what we want the most (UBS). As we learn to delight ourselves in the Father, the deepest longing of our hearts can be realized.

Psalms 37:4-5

 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

 5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.

What does it mean to delight in the Father? We are not to act like little children who get excited and bubble with delight when they receive something they really want. It is not merely about what the Father does for us or gives us. Rather it is about Who and What He is. It is His nature to pamper His dearly beloved children of the King. How amazing to have such a wonderful Father.

To delight means to take pleasure in, enjoy, be satisfied with. The Hebrew word anog translated delight comes from a root that means to be brought up delicately, to be brought up in luxury, to be pampered.

It has the sense of enjoying being “pampered” by the Father. It is about learning to take delight in Who He is. He is the source of the innermost happiness and joy of every child of the King. “It is also possible to say, for example, ‘The Lord gives you joy. Take delight in it’” (UBS). The SPCL translates the phrase, “Love the Lord with tenderness” (UBS). Our joy and blessings are found in the Lord Himself, totally apart from what He gives us (Wiersbe).

On a purely human level, after a hard day’s work, when we take a refreshing bath or shower, we are relaxed, reinvigorated, and calm. The world is good. We are delighted in the moment. As children of the King learn to experience and enjoy our relationship with the Father, we take great joy in experiencing His wonderful and delightful personality.

For many of us, this just is not happening. Why not? Often, it is simply timing. Timing is everything. The Father works according to His predetermined script and timeline.

There is of course another possibility. We are not actually doing what He has told us to do. Even though we are totally convinced we’re doing everything right, one or more of those things we are convinced about, is wrong.

The choice is ours: useless irritating fretting and anger or cool calmness and the enjoyment of our deepest longings, what we want the most.

1 Corinthians 15:58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

¯\_()_/¯  

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