Was there a time this past week when you felt shamed, dishonored, or misunderstood? I'm guessing we could start a club ... or I could share with you what the Lord showed me from Psalms 4 and 107.
Psalm 4 gives us the answer for what to do when we experience distress, and Psalm 107 gives us the answer for what to do next. Psalm 4 was written by David, a man with first hand experience of what it means to feel the on-going sting of shame, the angst of dishonor, and the agony of being misunderstood. David "gets" how we feel, and he calls on God to answer him based on the fact that God has given him relief in his past distress. David gives us the "How to" of dealing with our distress in life.
- CALL ... on the Lord, because the past assures us we can expect He'll hear us now.
- KNOW... God set the godly (Ps. 1 tells us who that is) apart for Himself. That's the "hesed" word meaning He "set" special attention and affection on us.
- WAIT ... not our instinct when we feel undone, but we're not to sin in response to being wronged or frustrated. This is a hard one and one I have skipped too often. Instead of melting down, we're supposed to "ponder" God's character and His past proof of faithfulness; ponder "in your own hearts on your beds" .... "and be silent." That last part is the kicker. If only I had obeyed this key step when I felt overwhelmed with distress ...
- WORSHIP... As we wait, we're still to offer "right" (from a pure heart) sacrifices, acknowledging who God is, focusing on how trustworthy He is. Notice we're taking the focus off of ourselves as we do this.
- TRUST ... Put our trust in the Lord, instead of reacting to distress we feel.
If we call on God, know He has set His love on us, wait on Him to act for us, worship Him to keep our focus ... then we are actively putting our trust in Him. It gives us the amazing ability to do this: "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety" (v. 8). For most women, THAT is a miracle! ;) God alone is our security in every way, and that truth gives us overwhelming peace.
Keeping my focus on how trustworthy God is helps me to overcome temptation. Based on the past, we can trust God with our present and our future.
Once we trust God with our distresses and experience His steadfast/hesed love, Psalm 107 tells us what to do: "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so ..."
Has God redeemed you from distress? SAY SO! Praise Him and proclaim it to others who need to know the same truth. Do YOU need to hear a testimony of God's peace? Psalm 107 gives 4 testimonies of those who experienced God's love first hand.
- The wanderers who were hungry and thirsty (vv. 4-9)
- The darkness sitters who were in a prison (vv. 10-16)
- The fools who suffered due to their own folly (vv. 17-22)
- The sailors who caught in a literal storm of life (vv. 23-32)
- Which one sounds most like you? Read the 4 testimonies here.
The end of the 107th Psalm wraps up this pair of Psalms so well; remember the description of what it means to be "godly" from the gateway Psalm 1, and you'll know who the "wise" are:
"Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD" (Ps. 107:43).
Let's "attend to" these things:
If you're in distress and longing for peace ...Call ... Know ... Wait ... Worship ... Trust ... SAY SO!
This weekend, let's not substitute our own intervention for God's steadfast love, and as He answers our call, let's praise Him!