Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

When Things Are Hard, Don’t Act


PSALM 37:3-7a – Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself . . .”


THEME OF THE DAY: WHEN THINGS ARE HARD, DON’T ACT. We love comfort.  We want life to be in reality problem-free.  Trials?  Okay. Just as long as they are not intense.  Periods of suffering?  Well, if we have to, okay but not for long.  We want all those easy paths not only in “normal” life but in the Christian life.  Every Christian wants to make a difference for the Lord Jesus.  Every Christian wants their homes Christ-centered.  Every Christian yearns to please God in a life of self-denial and self-sacrifice.  But want all of those without a lot of pain or inconvenience and that isn’t going to happen.  And here is the danger.  When in the midst of tough circumstances, hard trials, and environments that are difficult and challenging, we may make rash, impulsive, emotionally charged, and life-altering decisions that may prove not only foolish, but disastrous.


So, what do we do when tempted to look for greener pastures or to lift the burdens in life by taking charge or trying to control situations or people?   Nothing. Absolutely nothing.  The counsel we receive from the Psalmist in today’s scripture is wise, protective, and must be heeded to avoid potential bad decisions that cannot be reversed.  He offers to us five practical things to do in our hearts and minds.


First, trust the Lord.  I mean really trust.  In the midst of troubles, refuse to trust self.  Pray hard and talk to ourselves with forceful language to take control of our emotions and fix our thinking on the sovereignty of God.  Next, delight in the Lord.  This means make knowing Christ life’s passion and pursuit.  Get our eyes off self and our circumstances and obey the exhortation from the letter to the Hebrews – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted (Hebrews 12:1-3). The third thing to do is difficult but necessary – commit your way to the Lord.  Give Him our pain, our circumstances, our doubt, our confusion, and our situations and leave them with Him.  Constantly tell Him, “Lord, I cannot carry these.  My shoulders and heart are too weak. I give them to You, and I leave them with You.”  The fourth and fifth actions on our part are married – be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.  How do we do them?  Time in the Word and prayer.  In the midst of hard seasons in life, increase time in the Word and prayer.  Often in our bewilderment and pain, we neglect both.  The opposite needs to happen.  Double down time seeking the Lord.  It is only by fellowship with Him we will know peace in the midst of storms, calm in the gale force winds of trials, and rest of mind when the flood waters of tough circumstances are upon us.


It is good advice; when things are hard, don’t act.  Instead trust the Lord, delight in Him, commit our ways to the Lord, be still and wait on Him to act and lead.


PRAYER: “Father, prevent me from making impulsive, or emotional decisions without the discipline of waiting on You.”


QUOTE: “Never make a spiritual or life-altering decision when in a state of discontent or when emotions are high.”