Brown shoes standing at crossroads
Encouragement

The Choices We Make: Heart Checkup #6 from Psalm 37

by Katy Kauffman

The rush and the retreat of waves at low tide drowned out all other sounds and thoughts. “I choose You for You.”

Years of struggle had echoed other prayers—“Please forgive me,” “I’m so sorry I went back to that habit,” and “I won’t do it again.” My commitment to dwell on Godly thoughts and not negative ones, rushed in only to retreat when I focused on prayers that hadn’t been answered yet.

I was tired of my broken promises. I could have given God my allegiance based on what I knew He could give me, but I wanted to choose Him for His own sake. Because of His heart, His character. Because I love Him, and He loves me.

So my prayer as I walked in the waves that day, is one that I’ve echoed since then—“I choose You for You.” Help me, Lord, to keep choosing You every day. Help me to choose Your way, and forgive me when I insist on my own.

Psalm 37:34 (NKJV*) shows us how to maintain a faithful heart.

“Wait on the LORD,
and keep His way,
and He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.”

“Wait on the LORD, and keep His way.” This chapter has shown us what His way looks like. This path keeps us walking closely with God even when wickedness rushes into the world around us and we want to retreat. Psalm 37 tells us:

  • “Do not fret … nor be envious” (v.1).
  • “Trust in the LORD, and do good” (v.3).
  • “Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” (v.3).
  • “Delight yourself also in the LORD” (v.4).
  • “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him” (v.5).
  • “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him” (v.7).
  • “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath” (v.8).
  • “Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore” (v.27).  

Keep His way.

Haven’t we seen this chapter talk about a “way” before?

“Commit your way to the LORD” (v.5)—“roll” your “way” to Him. As we roll our plans and burdens to God, we can take up His way. His design for life is that we trust Him, we do the good we know to do, we take joy in Him, and we depend on Him to act on our behalf.

The result? “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way” (v.23). There’s “way” again. We delight in God, and He delights in our way. Our manner of life, our course, our journey.1

His manner of life is worth choosing. While Psalm 37 has seventeen instructions for us to do, with a few of those repeated, God has planted thirty-eight promises in a chapter that has forty verses. These promises produce hope and perseverance within us.

  • “He shall gives you the desires of your heart” (v.4).
  • “He shall bring [your way] to pass” (v.5).
  • “He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (v.6)—your godliness will be seen and your reputation presevered.
  • “Those who wait on the LORD … shall inherit the earth” (v.9).
  • “Though [a righteous man] fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand” (v.24).
  • “The future of that man is peace” (v.37).
  • “[God] is their strength in the time of trouble” (v.39).
  • “The LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him” (v.40).

We can choose God and His ways because of His great promises, and another reason? We see His great heart in these promises. He loves us, He wants us to have what we need, He guides us, and He sustains us as we seek to live for Him in this world.

May our hearts say each day, “Father, I choose You for You. Help me to keep Your way. Help me to trust You and do the good You have planned for this day.”

Heart Checkup #6:

When we encounter a challenge or need to recover from a personal stumble, do our hearts remember who is watching over us? Do we seek to wait on Him and keep His way? Do we trust God and remember He delights in us and delights in our course through life?

May the choices we make be shaped by how much we appreciate God and love Him. May we remember to immediately return to His way when we’ve veered off course. May the core of who we are delight in the core of who He is. Our lives will be guided by God and His great love.

Discussion Questions:

What common hiccups do you think try to influence us to stray from God’s way—anger, frustration, fear, worry, unmet needs, or something else? What helps you to hold on to God’s ways and His promises?

*All Scripture verses are taken from the NKJV.
1. Larry Pierce, The Online Bible, CD-ROM (Winterbourne, Ontario: Larry Pierce, 2019), Psalm 37:23.

If you missed a post in the Psalm 37 series so far:

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