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Encouragement

Times of Waiting: Heart Checkup #4 from Psalm 37

by Katy Kauffman

“Are we there yet? … Stop poking me.” Long family car trips can provoke such mumblings and rumblings in the backseat.

“Why are they taking forever?” A personal mumbling of mine after waiting forty-five minutes in a fast food drive-thru while my tummy rumbled.

“I don’t want to wait. I’ve waited too long already. Why can’t it just happen?” A common rumbling. Are you waiting on God for something good to happen? I am. For more than one something good.

When I see the word “rest” in the Bible, I often think of inactivity, but that’s not always the case. Psalm 37 adds a new meaning to resting and waiting.

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.”
(Psalm 37:7 NKJV*)

We’re not talking about fast food anymore. Even when evil people pursue evil paths, God wants us to rest in Him. And to wait.

“Rest” in verse 7 means to “be still … to be silent.”1 Whoa, wait a minute. That means that waiting for God to intervene in a situation might involve being quiet? Too often I echo the voice of fear in my thoughts. Or I complain about what’s unfair.

If we truly rested in the LORD, what would that look like?

  • The voice of fear would give way to the voice of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • The voice of complaining would yield to the voice of a blameless and upright heart (Philippians 2:14-16).
  • The voice of selfish ambition would transform into the voice that encourages others and cares about them (Philippians 2:3).
  • The voice of “me, me, me!” would morph into the voice of “love, love, love!” (Mark 12:38-40, 29-31). Love that is God-directed and God-empowered.

If I truly love God and trust Him, does that make waiting easier? It certainly can. It certainly does. God calls us to wait on Him even when it hurts.

“Wait patiently,” our verse says. A hidden metaphor in this phrase, shows how hard waiting can be. To wait patiently means “to twist … writhe … tremble, travail, be in anguish.”2 But it also means “to dance.”3

How can we move forward in life even when we hurt? How can we dance through difficult circumstances that are beyond our control? How can we patiently wait on God when the world is crying out for help?

The voice of love speaks into our circumstances, into the deepest places of our hearts, and into the farthest reaches of our thoughts and fears. God’s voice finds us and says:

  • I can work good out of this (Romans 8:28).
  • You can’t ever be separated from Me (John 10:28).
  • I’m not leaving you (Hebrews 13:5).
  • I replenish “every sorrowful soul” (Jeremiah 31:25).
  • Seek Me, call on Me—I “abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).
  • I satisfy the heart, free the soul, heal the spirit, and calm the storm (Psalm 107:9, 14, 20, 29).
  • I can do anything (Isaiah 59:1).
  • I can save by many or by few (1 Samuel 14:6).
  • I love you (John 15:9).

With God’s voice wrapping our souls in His protection and provision, His compassion and power, we can be still before Him and remember He is God (Psalm 46:10). We need Him, and the world needs Him. He is able to heal, to save, to act. I can quiet my heart with God’s help and remember these things.

If you were to voice how you feel today about a troubling situation, what would you say? Take it to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6). “Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).

Heart Checkup #4:

Our hearts and minds can get wrapped up in the pain, injustice, shock, or grief of a situation. But a beautiful verse in Isaiah 58 encourages us to use our voice and our “ears”:

“Then you shall call,
and the LORD will answer;
You shall cry,
and He will say, ‘Here I am.’”
(Isaiah 58:9)

Call on Him, and listen. Ask Him for His help, and rest. He’ll show us the path. He’ll help us to know what to do. He’ll help us to wait. He already has a plan for victory.

Discussion Questions:

Based on what you know about God, what makes you willing to wait on Him? Has God ever whispered encouragement or a Scripture verse to your soul?

*All Scripture verses are taken from the NKJV.

1. Larry Pierce, The Online Bible, CD-ROM (Winterbourne, Ontario: Larry Pierce, 2019), Psalm 37:7.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.

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