Pastor Melissa Scott's Nitro Pills.
Fret Not is the first in this series of Nitro Pills transcribed from a Live Sunday Service.
How many have heard my husband teach on Psalm 37? If you have, don't tune me out because I may say something slightly different. No message would be complete without John Ayto's, Dictionary of Word Origins, so let me read you a little bit about the word "fretting" in the English language. English has three separate words for fret: Fret; irritate; and distress. It is Old English that goes back to the prehistoric Germanic verb compound formed by the intensive prefix fra and the verb etand, ancestor of English eat, which meant to eat up or devour, to consume. I want you to hang that word on fretting, because I see fretting when I read the King James as just kind of a "pout." But I wonder how many of you feel consumed with something going on in your life at this time? Its modern Germanic descendants include German fressen, which is to eat. In Old English it gave frettan -- which also meant to devour. So you can hang that over the meaning as well, as in, your circumstance may be devouring you. By the early fifteenth century the meaning changed, leaving the figurative: "to gnaw at, to worry or distress." Of course the word fret is also used in decorating and used of the fingerboard on a guitar. In the Hebrew, the word has the meaning of, "to be burned up, to be kindled with anger."
#1 Fret Not
Getting back to Psalm 37, three times, "fret not," verse 1, "fret not," verse 7, "fret not," verse 8. Three times God says, "Fret not." It begins with the state of being, of fretting and ends with, "the end of that man is peace" -- shalom. And what's in the middle? God's formula for defrettitizing yourself. There is a remedy for fretting just using the King James. FAITH CANCELS FRETTING. Yes, faith cancels fear, faith enables us, and faith makes us overcomers, but in this Psalm, faith cancels out fretting. Now I thought it strange as I read this. There are at least twenty different verses where David (the Psalmist) is talking about the wicked and the evildoers. And we tend to cherry-pick those things we need and don't reflect that this is a Psalm for anyone living today. What has you feeling burdened down and unable to get going in God's program? There are some mature saints (and some less mature) who wrestle with this. God says, "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity." I like what God says through David in verse 2. "For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb." The word translated "cut down" is the same word being used in the Hebrew for "circumcise" -- Mallal. That even sounds painful. Think about this. When it says, "For they shall soon be cut down like the grass," God is not telling YOU to get out your lawnmower and chop them down. God's going to do the cutting.
I'm sure there are people who will say, "I don't have any problems today." Well, let me shake your hand wherever you are! For the rest of us, God is talking to us through His word: Not only am I going to cut down your enemies, but I am going to dry them up so they can't grow back! Now if you just let grass go, it will keep growing and growing. This is something overlooked. I want you to know the remedy for fretting and I want you to know all the things we need to do, but in between, little gems are given that have been overlooked. So the first thing I know is that God is going to take care of my enemies. I don't have to go out and (to use the grass cutting illustration) get my sickle out and be the grim reaper on all of my enemies. God says right here He's going to do it for me. That's number ONE.
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