A response to psychological trauma

Psalm 37

A traumatic event is defined as one in which an individual experiences,witnesses, or is confronted with actual or threatened death or serious injury; accident, assault, war or torture, or natural disaster. Psychological trauma. Fretting. David offers us much relevant wisdom from 3000 years ago, this morning. I must say I’ve been doing my fair share of fretting recently, because of evil men and their barbaric acts, broadcast across the globe. Doing wrong (v1), and succeeding in their ways (v7).

We are encouraged to trust and obey (v3), wait patiently for him (v7), commit our way to him (v5) and Delight in the Lord (v4).

‘Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart’, has long been a favorite verse. We often suffer because our hearts desire wrong things; self things – and we aren’t satisfied. God has made us for relationship with Him. To delight in Him is our true function, or setting. How rich is that word, delight; and how delightful indeed to have the desires of your heart met, fully. Healing. Satisfying.

Now, if only we would heed David’s advice! The whole psalm contrasts the righteous and the wicked, the righteous enduring, not being forsaken and inheriting the land. We aren’t interested in inheriting parts of the middle east…How often we need His power to even want to trust in a crisis, obey when others aren’t, ease our impatience slightly, pray before we make our plans, and yes, His power to help us delight in Him, rather than our own achievements, comforts and interests.

David’s advice to Israel in verse 27 to turn from evil and do good so that they would dwell in the land forever, was sadly not heeded, and they end up exiled. Seems like a simple choice. There didn’t end up being many who were righteous were there? Not even David. Only one. Jesus, true Israelite, and fulfiller of this Psalm. Verses 39,40 -the Lord is the source of their salvation, their stronghold. The Lord delivers them and saves them because they take refuge in Him.

For King David and the Old Covenant, the wicked were the enemies of God, of Israel and their King. Us and them. The New Covenant shows us we are all enemies, all wicked (Romans 5:10). No us and them. All of us deserving of being destroyed (v38). Needing His salvation. Now we see the enemies of God are in fact, the powers of sin, the world, the devil and death. We are called to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us (Matt 5:44), but hate the sin.

Don’t fret. Trust and obey. Delight yourself in the Lord. Pray this day, asking as a child of Your Heavenly Father.




2 thoughts on “A response to psychological trauma

  1. Thank you Phillip. As we delight in The Lord our desires change to more about what pleases God. It’s a work of the Spirit in the heart of the believer. A desire for holy living should be at the top of the “to do” list for the believer. Our hearts change so that our desires align with God’s will and purpose for the believer. What was once important to me- like being liked, having nice “things”, no longer have the attraction that they used to have. May we be a people under God who truly delight in Him.

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