One of everybody’s favorite Psalms, 37, begins with the command don’t 'fret.' Fret is an old English word which has fallen out of common usage, meaning to be worried, angry, or vexed (another old English word!). It also means to chaff or rub, which is what happens to your finger tips when you press down on the ‘frets’ of a stringed instrument. We all know about fretting! According to the Psalmist, the cure for fretting is to “delight yourself in the LORD,” even adding, “and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
This is a real attention grabber, since we all want to be given the desires of our heart. But the promise is conditional: are we first delighting ourselves in the Lord? The Psalmist sets up his reasoning as one of priorities—first things first. The Hebrew word “delight” means to be happy or make merry. In the New Testament we “make merry” by “rejoicing,” a faith-based demonstration of our sincere gratitude for what God has done for us.
And as for the desires of our heart, He means we are to let God place in our hearts the things He desires for us. The Psalmist is telling us to concentrate on the cause of delight (the Lord) and let Him effect our hearts—His and our desires becoming one. In these fretful and vexing days, we need to set our thoughts and affections on things above (Col. 3:2)—not on the fretful and vexing things on earth!