Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong. (Psalm 37: 1)
Never become extremely upset over your circumstances. If worry were ever justified, it would have been during the circumstances surrounding the writing of this psalm. “Evil men” were “dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day” (Luke 16: 19). “Those who do wrong” were ascending to the highest places of power and were tyrannizing their brothers who were less fortunate. Sinful men and women strutted through the land with arrogant pride and basked in the light of great prosperity, while good people became fearful and worried.
“Do not fret.” Never get unduly upset! Stay cool! Even for a good reason, worrying will not help you. It only heats up the bearings but does not generate any steam. It does not help the locomotive for its axles to become hot; their heat is only a hindrance. The axles become heated because of unnecessary friction. Dry surfaces are grinding against each other instead of working in smooth cooperation, aided by a thin cushion of oil.
Isn’t it interesting how similar the words “fret” and “friction” are? Friction caused by fretting is an indication of the absence of the anointing oil of the grace of God. When we worry, a little bit of sand gets into the bearings. It may be some slight disappointment, ungratefulness, or discourtesy we have experienced— suddenly our life is no longer running smoothly.
Friction leads to heat, and heat can lead to very dangerous conditions.
Do not allow your bearings to become heated. Let the oil of the Lord keep you cool so that an unholy heat will not cause you to be regarded as one of the “evil men.”
~from The Silver Lining
Dear restless heart, be still; don’t fret and worry so;
God has a thousand ways His love and help to show;
Just trust, and trust, and trust, until His will you know.
Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God’s own smile,
His love can every wrong and sorrow reconcile;
Just love, and love, and love, and calmly wait awhile.
Dear restless heart, be brave; don’t moan and sorrow so,
He has a meaning kind in chilly winds that blow;
Just hope, and hope, and hope, until you braver grow.
Dear restless heart, recline upon His breast this hour,
His grace is strength and life, His love is bloom and flower;
Just rest, and rest, and rest, within His tender power.
Dear restless heart, be still! Don’t struggle to be free;
God’s life is in your life, from Him you may not flee;
Just pray, and pray, and pray, till you have faith to see.
~Edith Willis Linn
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 76). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.