2016 Teen Study
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From the desk of Steve Patton
Do nor fret because of evildoers – Psalm 37:1
Fret: be constantly or visibly worried or anxious (Oxford Dictionary). That is the modern definition. I know lots of people who are like that – who worry constantly and let life’s trials completely overwhelm them. That is not good. But the word in Psalms is really a little more specific in meaning. The Hebrew word translated “fret” means: to blaze up, of anger, zeal, jealousy: be angry, be incensed, be wroth. The Psalmist is talking about the anger that blazes up inside of us because we are incensed by wicked people. We see them prosper in their wickedness, abuse the poor and needy and bring more evil into this world. Our anger may become so intense that we want to retaliate, even to take them on!
The Psalmist tells us not to fret because “it tends only to evil” (vs. 8) - that is, it leads us to respond in kind and that is not what God wants. There is comfort in knowing that no evildoer will escape his evil deeds. The Psalmist assures us God knows what is happening and will judge. “The Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.” How foolish is the evil man who thinks he will not reap what He sows. We must learn to have God’s perspective and leave vengeance to Him. “Vengeance is mine. I will repay says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). Rather, “Trust in the Lord and do good… Delight yourself in the Lord… Commit your way to the Lord” (vs. 3-5). He also says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him… Cease from anger and forsake wrath” (vs. 7,8). Our response to the wicked must reflect a trust in our God who we know will deal with every evildoer in time. We are not the avenger of wrath. We must not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21). Do you trust God enough to allow him to deal with the wicked? That is what he wants. Respond to their wickedness with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do not fight them but try to convert them. Eventually God will deal with all who refuse His Son.
From the desk of Harry Pickup, Jr.
"Some of the things which make life good, comfortable, and pleasant men can learn to do without. Men have even taught themselves to do without some things they had formerly considered necessary to living. However, there is one thing that men cannot learn to live without: HOPE. This characteristic is indispensable to the well-ordered life; especially if one considers living to be more than mere existence. For life to be tolerable, one must have reason to believe that tomorrow will be better, and this is what hope is. Hope is balm for the tortured body, the agonizing mind, and heartsick soul. Without it, one is either reduced to a maddened animal or is left to wallow in the slough of despair...
"Meaningful human desire involves three factors: (1) Hope, a reasonable expectation for something of value, is basic to all desire. (2) The thing desired must be of sufficient worth to comfort the heart. (3) Power is needed to guarantee the longed for gift. Paul prayed that the Ephesians might fully realize hope, riches, and power (Ephesians 1.15-23). He prayed that God would give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him which would enlighten the eyes of their heart in order that they might experience hope, riches, and power. To these ends, the Holy Spirit, through Paul, discussed Jesus Christ as the head of all things to His body. The Christian’s hope is eternal life. The quality of it is that it is life from God. The power of it was realized in Christ’s resurrection, coronation, and His continuing authority as head over all things to the church, His body."
(Taken from his 1990 lecture, "The Head Over All Things To The Church")
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Taylor Pickup and family at the passing of Brother Pickup, a soldier of the cross who fought the good fight and has gone on to his reward. - JC