Peaceful Rest

6 “Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
Let your face smile on us, Lord.
7 You have given me greater joy
than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”

-Psalm 4:6-8 (NLT)

When I enter the soul of this Psalm and hear the writer’s desperate words, I am impacted by the importance of bringing our concerns to God during periods of anxiety and uncertainty.  The psalmist is living in a culture where those around him are feeling desperation and doubt.  Voices echo in the city center, “When will things get better?”  They are feeling as if joy in life has been taken away.  Some of us have heard our countrymen, friends, family, and co-workers desperately inquire of the heavens, “When will things get better?”  This question has come out of my mouth too.

This prayer reminds me that joy, hope, and safety are always readily available in the Lord.  I can sometimes lose sight of the forest of joy and peace in Christ because I focus too much on the weeds of anxiety, pain, and dissatisfaction that spring up within God’s forest.  This Psalm models the importance of praying with facts.  I mean, the psalmist didn’t need to pray, “You have given me greater joy than those who have lots of food and drink.”  God already knows that.  Prayer is to regularly function as a dialogue between two beings in a love relationship.  The psalmist reminds the God he loves how much He means to him.  This helps to not only bring God and psalmist closer together in their relationship, but it also solidifies that idea in the mind of the one who said it.

There is little more important to remind ourselves of than the fact that God is the greatest joy-giver there is.  Maybe the psalmist is guilty of occasionally finding the ultimate joy in his life in eating bread and drinking wine.  But he reminds himself here that the greatest joy, true joyful living, is found in the Lord.  In the words of Paul, today through Jesus, we “Rejoice in the Lord always.”  This joy allows us something that is very important for us, peace.  The psalmist is able to lie down, rest, and sleep, for he is filled with peace.  He feels safe and peaceful, knowing that better times are coming and they are already present in the Lord.  Through Jesus I know that hope and peace are always present.  It doesn’t always feel like it, but I need to keep in mind the words of psalmist, “you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”

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