PEACE AND JOY
Amazing God, your love created me and your love sustains me. Strengthen my love for you and my faith in you.
Read PSALM 4
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.
1 Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods[b]?[c]
3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 Tremble and[d] do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the Lord.
6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Peace is joy resting, and joy is peace dancing’ (CH Spurgeon). Reflect on this and ask the Lord to make it a real, lived-out experience in your relationship with him.
We read Psalm 3 last Sunday and this is likely a continuation. King David has been usurped by his son, Absalom, and is running from his forces with his own army of loyal but discouraged supporters.
Think of a time you went to bed trembling in apprehension at the ‘mountains’ you faced (vs 4). When we feel under attack, we have a choice: give in to fear and anger or ‘trust in the Lord’ (v 5). David’s lifelong commitment to prayer means it’s second nature for him to take his woes to God with bold confidence (v 1). A rolling habit of prayer in peaceful times is always a great investment (Philippians 4:6,7). Then you ‘don’t forget in the darkness what you have learned in the light’ (Joe Bayly). You have a bank of strength and hopeful expectation to draw on. David encourages his team to keep doing positive things, keep their hearts pure and worship God (vs 4,5). And the outcome (vs 7,8)? Joy that’s better than a good harvest, and peace to get the physical rest needed to face challenges.
During the early weeks of the coronavirus lockdown, I found meditating on verse 8 as I went to bed comforting. Tonight, speak out that verse and hand over to Jesus the mountains in your way. In him, they’ll move!
Mighty God, you are my rock. May that assurance fill me with joy and peace, especially in the night hours.
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