“Do not fret.”
(Ps. 37:1, 7, 8 NKJV)
With all that is going on in the world and in your life, are you fretting or worrying over it?
The Hebrew word for fret means to glow or grow warm, to be angry, to kindle, to blaze up, to be hot, to be furious, to burn.
Our English definition is not as intense…but close. Fret, used as a verb, means to feel or express worry, annoyance, or discontent, to cause corrosion, to gnaw into something, to torment, irritate, or vex, to be constantly or visibly worried or anxious.
Used as a noun, it means an agitated or irritated state of mind, annoyance, vexation, erosion, corrosion, gnawing, a worn or eroded place.
Worry taken to the extreme is fretting. Fretting irritates, gnaws at, erodes, and torments our “sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7) Actually, sound mind, in the Greek, means an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation, discipline, and self-control.
Three times in Psalm 37, David tells us not to fret because of what evil people do. If we add New Testament scripture to that, the Bible exhorts us not to worry at all, about anything.
You know what Philippians 4:6-7 says, right? “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (NKJV)
We are admonished to not cling to troubling thoughts nor let them build up as heated frets. We are to discipline our hearts and minds to “live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7 NIV), to “not worry about tomorrow.” (Matt. 6:34 NKJV)
What did Jesus say?
*“There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.” (Matt. 6:25 Msg)
*“People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matt. 6:32-33 Msg)
*“He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” (Matt. 6:30 NLT)
Our lack of faith, our worrying, our fretting, does nothing for us. Well, I take that back. It is stress and causes all sorts of physical ailments. Margaret Bottome said, “A fretful disposition is not conducive to a healthy body.” Any doctor will agree with that.
Having a concern and making plans, like stocking up for a predicted storm, is fine and good sense, but worrying or fretting over the outcome of some future event is not good mental, or physical, health.
Jesus said, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matt. 6:34 Msg)
If we are worried or fretful, agitated or irritated in mind, wanting to control the future and allowing the what-if cares to erode and gnaw away at our peace of heart and mind, we seek to be self-sufficient, not needing the Lord’s help.
God is already in the future and will be there when you get there. So not to fret or worry!
“And it is He who will supply all your needs from His riches
in glory because of what Christ Jesus has done for us.”
(Phil. 4:19 TLB)