DON’T FRET PART 7

Hope beyond the scope

Psalm 37:34-40.

INTRODUCTION

This sermon series could also be subtitled, “God’s answers to real life problems.”

Psalm 37:34-40 TNIV – 34 Hope in the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it. 35 I have seen the wicked and ruthless flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, 36 but they soon passed away and were no more; though I looked for them, they could not be found. 37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. 38 But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked. 39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. 40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

As we have gone through this series, I know that many of you have experienced some difficult times and tragedies.  Some of you were going through them before we started; some after we started.  I do hope that you have realized one thing throughout this series:  We should not fret because our Sovereign God is in control! This is a truth that pain, disease, marital conflicts, and financial difficulties cannot change!

In this life we must remember that no matter what we may face – there is always hope beyond the scope for the child of God.  God does not abandon us; neither does He leave us hopeless.

Now before we get into the heart of the sermon lets cover just a little information concerning this Psalm.  It was written by David toward the end of his life.  He is contrasting the wicked and the righteous.  Here in these last verses of the Psalm that we are going to cover this morning, David presents some real life truths and contrast.  Let’s look.

Keeping hope alive!

Psalm 37:34a TNIV – Hope in the LORD and keep his way.

David begins this portion by stating that we should hope in the LORD.  Some translations say, “wait,” or “trust.”  I like the way the TNIV words it as “hope.”   In Hebrew the word (kaw-vah) means, “Waiting or hoping with eager expectation.” You see, it is not just some passive waiting that we are to be doing as we see evil prospering while we are struggling.  But it is a waiting where we put all of our hopes and dreams in the God who not only saved us, but promises to sustain us through every problem and circumstance.

David also states here that we should “keep His way.” In Hebrew this word (shamar) means, “careful devotion and action that is necessary in order to fulfill covenant obligations.”

There is a New Testament principle here.

Philippians 2:12-13 TNIV – 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

How do we work out our salvation?  Well, with fear and trembling, as God works through us in order to fulfill His purpose.

So don’t give up, and turn to the right or the left, but hold on to the One who is holding on to you, promising not to let go.

There is an old hymn that states this truth very well: “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”

So no matter what the fretful situation, always know that God is in control.  He promises to never leave you nor forsake you – so keep hope alive!

Psalm 27:13-14 TNIV – 13 I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

The wicked will not prosper forever, but be judged by God in His appointed time.

Psalm 37:34b-36&38 TNIV – 34bHe will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it. 35 I have seen the wicked and ruthless flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, 36 but they soon passed away and were no more; though I looked for them, they could not be found. 38 But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked.

The wicked have no realization of this truth, but God has been very gracious too them, even in their wickedness.  The verse talks about them flourishing like a luxuriant native tree.  In Hebrew this can also mean, “A tree growing by itself in its own soil.” Sometimes we fell this was concerning the wicked – that they always just seem to prosper without God.  But the truth is God has been good and gracious to the sinner, and even their prosperity has been given to them by God.

But as they continue to refuse to repent and continue in their own way, one day, God will judge them in His divine wrath; they have no promise of a future reward because of their refusal to make Christ Lord of their lives.

Our salvation and hope comes not from our works of righteousness, but from the LORD.

Psalm 37:37&39-40 TNIV – 37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. 39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. 40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

After David shows us the way of the wicked and how there is a future judgment coming, he now wants his readers to consider and observe the blameless and the upright.  There is a future for those who seek the way of peace.  What makes us blameless?  What makes us upright?  Not works of righteousness that we have done, but the work of righteousness that Jesus Christ not only lived, but performed when He died on the cross in our place.

So if you are struggling, remember if you are in Christ, you are righteous, you are blameless.  If you are seeking peace in Christ, you have a future with Him.

Notice what Paul says and how he quotes David.

Romans 4:4-8 TNIV – 4 Now to anyone who works, their wages are not credited to them as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to anyone who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of those to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed are those whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

CONCLUSION

In your struggle with evil, don’t fret; trust in the one who saved you and redeemed you.  He promises to be your stronghold, no matter what winds may blow your way.  He has called you, saved you, and  justified you.  If all these are true, then you will not be destroyed by the terror by night, but you will be in the hands of the one who gives strength to the weak.

Trust and hope in Him.  In Christ is hope beyond the scope.

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