Psalm 4: God Gives Greater Joy

Psalm 4 English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

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 honour be turned into shame?
    How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
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. Selah
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.

Where do you go when you are feeling overwhelmed?

I have certain default settings. When I feel overwhelmed there are two places I look to: Amazon to buy books and Netflix: television and retail therapy. I go to these things because I believe they will lift my spirits and restore my joy. They don’t.

If I’m honest, sometimes the temptation is to do more serious and more sinister things than buying books. Sometimes I want to give up on my vocation as a pastor. Other times I think about giving up on being a Christian altogether. The reason is that, in those moments, I have begun to tell myself that I would be happier if I were not a pastor or a Christian.

We don’t know exactly what problem is weighing so heavily on David but we know there is an issue. The remarkable thing is that When he is under pressure he does not run from God or blame God. He doesn’t start to treat good things as though they are gods. Instead he runs directly to God.

So I ask the question: how is he able to do that? What drives him back to God again and again through trial after trial? He knows that God gives greater joy than anything or anyone else.

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.

So learn this from the Psalm… Whatever I am going through and whatever I am feeling, I will never be happier or more at peace than when I entrust my life to God. He is the God of my righteousness. He covers me with the obedience of His Son, Jesus. He has set me apart as one of his own people and so I know that he hears me when I call and that he will shine the light of His Face upon me.


2 thoughts on “Psalm 4: God Gives Greater Joy

  1. ohlittlekimmy says:

    Great post!

    It’s such a relief that I’m not the only one who has those moments of “What if I just stop being a Christian.” Thank you for being honest, sharing, and reminding myself and others that God supplies an abundance of joy when we run towards him.


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