“You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain & new wine abound” (Psalm 4:7).
I noticed an interesting progression in this Psalm. David began with a cry of distress, asking God to answer him (verse 1). He acknowledged that God heard & answered his cries (verse 3), & then meditated in his heart, offering the sacrifices of praise to & trust in God (verses 4-5). He ended the Psalm being filled with joy. I also noted that in other Psalms of distress, whether joy was a byproduct or not, the authors reminded themselves of God’s faithfulness & ended with victorious words of assurance.
I began thinking of the way I h&le my times of distress. Yes, I cry out to God, begging for relief, but do I continue as David did? Do I move on, meditating on God’s faithfulness to me in the past & committing myself to trusting Him for this particular moment? Do I give him a sacrifice of praise in the midst of my turmoil? I must admit the answer is not always.
Not only did David receive great joy, but he also received peace which allowed him to sleep (verse 8). How many times have I lain awake at night worrying about the health or circumstances of myself or others? Of course there are nights of pain, & praising God may not necessarily bring sleep then, but there are many other times when fears & worries are my source of sleeplessness.
When I have followed David’s example, I have not always experienced joy afterwards, but the Holy Spirit has never failed to bring peace, & sometimes the joy has come later. Whether I am facing a new crisis, or whether I am dealing with the same recurring issues, I would do well to learn from David. It will require some self discipline, for it is easier to give in to the ways of my old nature than to grow into my new one. But I have the power of the resurrected Christ in me, & the end result will be well worth the effort.
Prayer: O Lord, as I end my pleas with praise, fills me with Your joy, victory, & peace. Amen
Bronlynn Spindler is a wife & mother of three grown daughters & lives in Fredericksburg, VA. God’s grace & strength give her the ability to deal with chronic back pain, depression, headaches, & fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com & contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.