Faith comes by hearing but faithfulness is cultivated
Psalm 37:1-11 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Security of Those Who Trust in the Lord, and Insecurity of the Wicked.
A Psalm of David.
Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
2 For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.
7Rest in the Lord and wait patiently
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
9 For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.
10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
11 But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
Yesterday’s meditation included Ephesians 2:8-10, which says: By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Previously when looking at faith, we looked at Romans 10:17: Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. In today’s text the psalmist says: Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. We are saved through faith, believing in what we have heard from God’s word. Faith is a decision we make to trust and believe what God says. John3:16 says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” By faith we believe in Christ and we are saved. Unlike faith, which is a decision; a mental ascent to the word of God, faithfulness is both a decision and the working out or walking out of that decision. Faithfulness is both a mental and physical ascent to God’s word. Faithfulness is a continuous and constant decision and acting in response to that decsion. Beyond believing; faithfulness is the action or works that come out of our faith. It is the walking out of the good works God prepared for us. Faithfulness is more than believing more, it is doing more in response to what we believe.
The psalmist says we need to cultivate faithfulness. Our faith is in God and Christ, they never change. So while the level of our faith may grow; it really grows not because they change or increase, but because our faithfulness grows. There are many things which can hinder the growth of our faithfulness. In Matthew 13, Jesus told a parable of The Sower. In verses 18-23, He explained it: “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” We need to cultivate faithfulness regardless of the hard places in our own hearts; regardless of persecution or affliction; regardless of the worries of the world and the deceifulness of riches. We need to cultivate our faithfulness in and through all of these things so that we may be good soil, bearing fruit.
The psalmist says: Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. As we trust in God, believing in faith that what He says He will do; as we commit to Him and even as we delight in Him, as we are faithfull to the first and great commandment; to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul and mind, He will give us our hearts desire. Our judgment will be as noonday. If we will commit our way to the Lord, if we will do the good works He prepared for us and prepared us for, we will be judged in the light of Christ rather than in the darkness of unrighteousness.
The psalmist says: Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. We can rest in the Lord even in the midst of our difficulties. In John 16:33 Jesus says: "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." Surely if we can trust that He has overcome even the difficulties we will face then we can also rest and find peace as we walk and work with Him. In Matthew 11:29-30 Jesus says: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” We have an inheritance in the Lord. As we wait and rest in Him, He gives us the desires of our heart. He overcomes our enemies and our difficulties. As we cultivate faithfulness, walking out our belief in Christ, neither God nor His plans for us change but rather we become His workmanship, doing the good works He prepared beforehand and we inherit all that He has for us; the very desires of our hearts.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit that we are saved simply by faith; believing in Christ and the cross. Thank You that I can, empowered by the Holy Spirit, cultivate
and grow in faithfulness. I delight in You. I love You with my whole heart, soul and mind. May I walk in the fullness of the inheritance You have given me and may my life, and my cultivated faithfulness produce fruit for the kingdom. Amen.