MEEKNESS IS NOT WEAKNESS
Matthew 5:5

Psalm 37:1-11

Introduction:     To many people a meek person has no "backbone". To them a meek person let's everybody run over them and stands up for nothing. That IS NOT what Jesus was referring to when he said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”. Jesus was meek, but certainly no pushover. Matthew 11:28-30, 21:5. The word meek means to be "gentle". According to John McArthur, "Meekness is gentleness and mildness, and a subdued character, but it is not weakness. It is power under control." A meek person can be very powerful and very much in control. A meek person is capable of anger. Jesus got angry at the right things at the right times.

bulletJesus got angry with hypocrisy.
bulletJesus got angry with dishonest people who bought and sold in the temple (Mat. 21:13).

He did not get angry when:

bulletHe was betrayed in the garden.
bulletHe was falsely accused at His trials.
bulletHe was nailed to the cross.   

Instead Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him (Lk.23:34, Isa.53:7). As you know, Jesus had the power to fight against his enemies. He could have come down off the cross. He could have resisted the mistreatment he had received. He had the power, as God, but didn't use it. That's power under control. So how do we go about developing meekness in our lives? First, we must realize that meekness is part of the Fruit of the Spirit. As we allow God's Holy Spirit to control us, we are allowing God to perfect the fruit of meekness (Gal. 5:22-23). It would also be nice if there was a passage of Scripture that would give us an idea of how to develop meekness in our lives. Good news! There is! When the Lord Jesus talks about meekness, He is alluding to Psalm 37:11 “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace”. Most of the Beatitudes were original. However this beatitude was adapted from the verse that we just read. In the verses before Psalm 37:11, God shows us the qualities of a meek or gentle man or woman. The verbs (action words) are the key to developing a meek spirit. 

   

I.          FRET NOT (VV. 1-2)
Those words mean "don't get heated up".  Don't get hot. Or as we may say, "chill". What keeps us from being meek or gentle?

            A.        Getting Agitated

·        Getting agitated is what keeps us from being meek or gentle. And evil people can get us agitated, especially when they do things against us or those we love.

·        According to vs. 2, wicked people will quickly meet their end. But it's not only wicked people who get us worked up and out of sorts. People who are not evil get us worked up and out of sorts, when we shouldn't allow them to do so. (Prov. 3:30) "Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm." (Prov. 20:3) "It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling."

Another thing that causes us to get agitated, or hot, both on the inside and the outside is…

B          Becoming Anxious

Fear And Worry.

·        (Isa. 41:10) "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

·        (Mat 6:25) "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"

 

II.         TRUST AND DO (V. 3)

We fret because we do not trust the right person.

A.                 It Begins With Salvation

Eternal life is a result of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again (Rom. 10:13). And if we can trust the Lord Jesus with our very lives, can't we also trust him with the things that cause us to fret?

            B.         It Continues With Service

Not only are we to trust, according to verse 3, but we are to do good. Because I trust Him to take care of me, I can do what is good, and therefore do what is right.

·        One good thing that I should do is not fret. I don't have to fret because I can trust that the Lord is taking care of things.

·        Sometimes we fail to do what is good because we are afraid of criticism. We are afraid of getting lambasted for doing what is right. When we trust the Lord for the strength and the help, we can do what's right no matter what the consequences. (1 Pet. 3:13-14) "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? {14} But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;"

 

III.       DELIGHT THYSELF IN THE LORD (V. 4)

            A.        A Challenge

Do you know something about many of the hunters I've met?

·        They delight in hunting.  They think about hunting. They talk about hunting. They study hunting. They spend money on hunting. They take time to hunt and to participate in hunting related activities.

·        We Christians are told to delight in the Lord. We should delight in the Lord because He is creator. We should delight in the Lord because He is our God. We should delight in the Lord because He is our Savior. We should delight in the Lord because we are His children. We should delight in the Lord because we are citizens of Heaven.

·        We Christians should learn something from hunters. They think about hunting, we should think about the Lord. They talk about hunting; we should talk about the Lord and to the Lord. They study hunting; we should study God's Word. They spend money on hunting. We should spend money on the Lord's work. They take time to hunt and to participate in hunting related activities. We should take time with the Lord and in activities, such as church and Bible studies, that are related to the Lord.

According to this verse, when we delight in the Lord, we will receive the desires of our heart.  When we have the desires of our heart, we will have every reason to be meek. We won't have anything to get hot about.

            B.         A Change

Now for some truth in advertising... 

·        If you delight yourself in the Lord, the desires of your heart will change. 

·        The things that you want will please God. 

·        And because the things that you want will please God, He will give them to you.

 

IV.       COMMIT THY WAY UNTO THE LORD (V. 5)

·        Instead of fretting we should be praying.

·        Instead of getting bent out of shape, we should be discussing the problem with God.

·        We tend to get upset and then pray.

·        Instead we should pray, and we will more unlikely to get upset. 1 Peter 5:7

   

V.        REST AND WAIT (V. 7)

Rest here does not mean to stop working. It is to "be still". It means to simply relax in the understanding that God is in control and taking care of the problem.

·        I am not agitated, or upset.

·        I am not hot and ready to bite someone's head off.

·        I am simply at mental ease, gentle, waiting on God to work in His good time.

And there are two last words to underline.

 

VI.       CEASE AND FORSAKE (V. 8)

·        Anger is to be avoided.

·        Any wrath is to be forsaken.

 

Conclusion:       (Illus: You know what happens when an open bottle tips over. When an open bottle tips over out comes the contents). When you are tipped over by circumstances or problems, what's inside you will come out also. What will come out of you? A hotheaded response? Anger? Bitterness? Or gentleness or meekness? Meekness is NOT weakness. It is power under control.