Psalm 37 | Free From Fret – Part 1

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John Cole / General

Jesus & Me in the Psalms / Trust; Fret; Evildoer; Good Works / Psalm 37

If we get our eyes off Jesus and pay too much attention to the temporary successes of those who advance through wrong doing, we can begin to fret about life and envy the way of evildoers. Psalm 37 declares three imperatives to help us trust the LORD and stay the course of righteousness. In part one, we will learn three of the six imperatives.


Psalm 37:1–7 KJV

1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; So shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; Trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, And thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, Because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.


10,000 Sermon Illustrations Fret Not

Many years ago George Gardiner was holding evangelistic meetings in a community, and God was blessing. At that time his only income was from his speaking engagements. With a wife and two children to support, and several unpaid bills, Mr. Gardiner was trusting God to meet his needs. At the final service the leader announced that the entire offering would be given to the guest as a love gift. The plates were passed, and the people gave generously. After the meeting one of the ushers enthusiastically showed the speaker the total on the adding machine tape. But when the man in charge handed the guest preacher a check, it was for one-half of the offering.   Back at the motel, sleep eluded the evangelist’s eyes. The hours passed—12 … 1 … 2 a.m. Exasperated, he finally reached for the Gideon Bible by his bedside and began reading where it fell open. These words of Psalm 37 struck him with full force: “Fret not thyself. Trust in the Lord. Evildoers shall be cut off.” Putting the Bible down, he prayed, “Lord, what a fool I’ve been! Forgive me. Keep the other fellow awake—I’m going to get some sleep!” Victory came, and in the weeks that followed, God provided the needed finances.   Are you fussing and fuming because someone has wronged you? Has resentment or some little irritation been rankling within your soul? Tell God about it. Admit your foolish fretting, and ask Him to help you stop. Don’t let the other person rob you of your peace. After all, he’s the one who has reason to be tossing and turning!


Our Daily Bread, Saturday, May 9.

Isn’t it frustrating to see someone getting ahead by doing wrong?

Have you ever wondered if you should quit doing right because it just doesn’t seem to be working?

David must have felt that way at times in his life, and now he is sharing a Psalm that acts more like a proverb to help readers get through those feelings without going astray.

Surely David experienced these temptations when Saul, Absalom, and Joab betrayed him at various points in his life.


Ultimately, the needed response to fret and envy is a change of mind, not a change of circumstance.

You cannot change every situation, but you can control how you think through them.

The way you think influences your physical and spiritual health, relationships, and overall way of life.

To Fret: to burn with anger; to get excited; to kindle inside

If you find yourself often fretting in life, it’s time to stop.

Fretting has zero benefits and many side affects.


Psalm 37 gives us three primary teachings and six imperatives to help us follow those teachings and stop fretting.

Today, we will look at three of the six imperatives.

In part two, we will learn from the remaining three.

Let’s begin by looking at the three primary teachings of our text.


#1 Don’t  fret  or  envy  over evildoers. (vs. 1)

Psalm 37:1 KJV

1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Notice: “Fret not thyself” in vs. 1, 7, & 8.

Fretting is something you and I do to  ourselves ; it is not something others do to  us .

Note: We may get angry at others because we think they make us feel this way, but in reality, we are the ones who allow the fretting to continue.

Fretting is usually accompanied with  envy .

We must face it, sometimes evildoers prosper.

 Temporal  success doesn’t prove a way is prosperous.

This leads us to the second primary teaching:

#2  Trust  the LORD, and do  good . (vs. 3)

Psalm 37:3 KJV

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; So shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

God’s provisions are found as we trust and follow Him.

“Trusting” and “ doing ” go together.

If we trust God, then we do what He says and continue in His way.

Though temptations can derail those who trust, their trust will bring them back.

Fret is a temptation.

 Trust  trumps fret.

10,000 Sermon Illustrations Trust Him

      Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee, Trust Him when thy strength is small, Trust Him when to simply trust Him Seems the hardest thing of all.       Trust Him, He is ever faithful, Trust Him, for his will is best, Trust Him, for the heart of Jesus Is the only place of rest.

We must overcome feelings of fret with decisive trust and good.

#1 Don’t fret or envy evildoers.

#2 Trust the LORD, and do good.

#3  Be  delivered  by the LORD. (vs. 39-40)

Psalm 37:39–40 KJV

39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: He is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, because they trust in him.

This is a passive concept.

God delivers, but He delivers those who trust.

•    The LORD is our salvation, vs 39

•    The LORD is our strength, vs 39

•    The LORD is our deliverer, vs 40

•    The LORD saves those Who trust Him, vs 40

So, we understand we need trust the LORD and be free from fretting.

How do we trust the LORD and be free from fret?

Psalm 37 gives us six imperatives to follow and be free from fret.


#1  Delight  in the LORD. (vs. 4)

Psalm 37:4 KJV

4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Delight: to take pleasure in

Matthew 7:7–11 KJV

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

God gives “good things.”

That doesn’t mean God gives us everything we request. It does mean plainly that God gives good things to those who ask.

When we desire and ask for good things, we will see our prayers and God’s answers look much more alike.

When we delight in the LORD, He  changes  and  fulfills  our desires.

Note: Fret and envy can come from having the wrong desires.

#1 Delight in the LORD.

#2  Commit  your way to the LORD. (vs. 5)

Commit: to roll your way upon

We can stop fretting life and envying others when our way is committed to, or rolled upon, God.

Matthew 6:25–26 KJV

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

1 Peter 5:7 KJV

7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

God is saying trust Him enough to provide for you when your way is committed to Him.

While stewardship and diligence is still applicable, we must trust God enough to not live with anxiety, fear, and anger, fretting our life away.


1. Would you live for Jesus, and be always pure and good? Would you walk with Him within the narrow road? Would you have Him bear your burden, carry all your load? Let Him have His way with thee.

Refrain: His pow’r can make you what you ought to be; His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free; His love can fill your soul, and you will see ’Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.

2. Would you have Him make you free, and follow at His call? Would you know the peace that comes by giving all? Would you have Him save you, so that you need never fall? Let Him have His way with thee.

3. Would you in His kingdom find a place of constant rest? Would you prove Him true in providential test? Would you in His service labor always at your best? Let Him have His way with thee.

#1 Delight in the LORD. vs 4

#2 Commit your way to the LORD. vs 5

#3  Rest  patiently in the LORD. (vs. 7 & 34)

Psalm 37:7 KJV

7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, Because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Psalm 37:34 KJV

34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, And he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

Rest: to stand still; to keep quiet.

Lamentations 3:26 KJV

26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Hope and wait quietly.

Notice again that others don’t make us fret . . . we fret ourselves.

Others do things that make us want to fret.

When this happens, we need to begin our response by:

1.  Delighting

2.  Committing

3.  Resting

In the LORD.


10,000 Sermon Illustrations Quietness of Heart

  Quietness of Heart   Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is for me to have no trouble; never to be fretted or vexed or irritated or sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace as in a deep sea of calmness when all around is trouble. It is the fruit of the Lord Jesus Christ’s redemptive work on Calvary’s cross, manifested in those of His own who are definitely subject to the Holy Spirit. – Andrew Murray

Ultimately, our life in Christ is about trusting Him enough to “rest” in Him.

Psalm 37:7 KJV

7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, Because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Do you trust the LORD enough to “roll” yourself upon His care?

Are you ready to be free from fret?

Will you trust Jesus today?

No need to live in fret.

Evildoers will not triumph.

Evil and sin does not triumph.

Jesus has overcome the world, and though Him, so can you.

John 16:33 KJV

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

1 John 5:4–5 KJV

4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Respond today with trust, and be free from fret.