7/20 Psalm 37:8

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

It is impossible not to become angry at times. It is a natural emotion. But those who have the power of the Spirit can keep it in check. We should consider what has caused that emotion to surface and then refrain from continuing in it. Anger that is nourished only turns to rage. Rage is dangerous to ourselves and to others, and the apostle Paul tells us "to put it away from you" (Ephesians 4:31).

Wrath is doing something with the anger. It's payback. When we feel we have been treated unjustly, we want to get even. That often means lowering our self to the level of the one that made us angry. God promises that He will repay. He tells us vengeance belongs to Him (Romans 12:19). Our wrath does not take all things into account like God's wrath does. Leaving vengeance to God shows that you trust Him.

Perhaps the most difficult portion of our verse today is the command not to fret. We can discipline ourselves to refrain from anger and forsake wrath, but to not fret takes real spiritual maturity. This is ultimately the fruit of trusting God in all things. Fretting, or being anxious about situations, only causes us to dwell on the problem. Instead of waiting for God's solution, we come up with our plans that often compound the problems. Besides that, you may end up with ulcers! There is a wonderful sense of peace that surrounds the believer who has learned to leave everything in the hands of God. It doesn't mean that they are inactive, but rather that they wait for God to act and then join Him. Then, instead of tending toward evil, they find that leaving things to God tends to righteousness and peace.

Consider: Do you have this kind of faith in God? Do you fret? What steps of spiritual growth do you need to obey this verse?