Grace to a Shepherd Boy

It is 1:30pm and I am still in bed. My body is just too weak to get up today. I went downstairs to get a drink and, partially crawling back up the steps, I momentarily regretted a two-story house as I often have in the past few months. I am not discouraged, for I know that God will raise me up again! In the meantime, I am content to use this time for His glory. Reading through Psalms, I came upon one I’d like to share. I found these truths to be wonderfully encouraging and I hope you do, too! Psalm 4:

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
    You have given me relief when I was in distress.
    Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

 O men, how long shall my glory be turned into shame?
    How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? 
 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.

 Be angry, and do not sin;
    ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. 
 Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the Lord.

 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
    Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
 You have put more joy in my heart
    than they have when their grain and wine abound.

 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Oh I just love it! This Psalm is chock full of goodness! The author, King David, is rejoicing in God’s bestowed protection and peace.

We may feel like our prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, at times, because we don’t always get the answers we want or expect, but, as believers, we can place our confidence in God. He hears and will answer us when we call.

So often, we run around like chickens with our heads cut off, chasing after this or that, searching for something to fill the gaping holes in our hearts. We may find something that is quite amusing until we realize it’s only a deluded, fleeting moments of happiness, a poor substitute for true joy. Jesus is the only One who can heal our hearts and fill them with real, lasting joy!

You gotta love King David! He goes on to say that it’s okay to be angry. Just keep your dang mouth shut about it. Keep trusting and obeying God. In his day, they made animal sacrifices for sin. Jesus has made complete atonement for us on the cross and we are redeemed and made righteous by placing our faith in Him!

David doesn’t stop there. I love it! He says, “What’s up with you people whining about ‘who will show us some good’ like everything is just bad?! Look to God! He has put more joy in my heart than a big, wonderful feast!” Of course, I’m paraphrasing in my own words. I hope David doesn’t mind. No matter how it’s worded, this is truth! We can prepare a wonderful meal, invite our closest friends, and share the most hilarious conversation during a brilliant sunset. Sounds fantastic, right? But it will end. You have to do the dishes and go to work the next day. God is eternal and He is preparing a place for us with wonders beyond our imagination that will never end.

Finally, after writing about all those amazing reassurances of God’s goodness and protection, David is lying down. No tossing and turning. No insomnia for David. He is sleeping peacefully, confident that his soul is safe in the arms of a loving God.

David was a king when he wrote this Psalm, but he was just an ordinary shepherd boy when God called him to be His anointed. David experienced many hardships and difficulties in his life and he screwed up plenty, too. Yet he remained faithful as evidenced in his many Psalms. May we also remain faithful and experience the wonderful blessing of true joy.

 

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