Click on the following link for previous layout and posts: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/
DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, December 12, 2014
Today’s Scripture is written by David and we all have nights when we can’t sleep. Most of those sleepless nights are caused by worry, fear, etc. and the only cure to calm our minds, give us peace and sleep is praying to God. When I have a sleepless night, I pray the Lord’s Prayer, give him thanks for all the blessings in my life, and listen to my breathing.
Today’s story in The Upper Room is written by Sarah M. DuBose (South Carolina) and it is titled “BEST GIFT.” I would like to share a part of Sarah’s story with you; see the references Psalms 3:6-81 and Psalm 42.
“My mother was always a generous gift-giver. One of the most meaningful gifts I ever received from her came after he death at age 88. While I was sorting through her belongings, a sheet of her personalized stationery slowly drifted to the floor. On it were handwritten Bible verses from her favorite book, Psalms. . . . During those years of declining mental and physical health, she had found solace in the beautiful poetry and prayers from Psalms 3 and Psalm 4. . .
“I framed this declaration of my mother’s faith and placed it on my desk in my home office. It reminds me every day of God’s assurance that we can “lie down in peace and sleep” as God watches over us. When fear and worry rob us of the sleep our body requires, we can ‘call out to the Lord’ and he will give us the rest we need.
“More precious than any present purchased at the store is God’s promise that we can feel safe and secure in loving arms.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God’s faithfulness is a treasured gift.
Prayer: Loving Father, keep us under your graceful watch today and give us a peaceful rest tonight. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO HAVE DIFFICULTY SLEEPING
To read the entire story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
Confidently trusting God for protection and peace is the theme for this psalm. David felt like he was a minority. There may have been as many as 10,000 soldiers surrounding him at this time. Not only did David’s enemies view life differently, they actively sought to harm him. As king, David could have trusted his army to defeat Absalom. Instead, he depended upon God’s mercy; therefore, he was at peace with whatever outcome occurred, knowing that God’s great purposes would prevail. We can overcome fear by trusting God for his protection in our darkest hour.
David was not sitting on his throne in a place of power, but he was running for his life from his rebellious son, Absalom, and a host of traitors. When circumstances go against us, it is tempting to think that God also is against us. But David reminds us that the opposite is true. When everything seems to go against us, God is still for us. If circumstance has turned against you, don’t blame God—seek him!
God’s holy mountain was Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, the place where David’s son Solomon would build the Temple. David knew that God could not be confined to any space, but he wrote poetically, expressing confidence that God would hear him when he prayed. God responds to us when we earnestly pray to him.
Sleep does not come easily during a crisis. David could have had sleepless nights when his son Absalom rebelled and gathered any army to kill him. But he slept peacefully, even during the rebellion. What made the difference? David cried out to the Lord, and the Lord heard him. The assurance of answered prayer brings peace. It is easier to sleep well when we have full assurance that God is in control of circumstances. If you are lying awake at night worrying about circumstances you can’t change, pour out your heart to God, and thank him that he is in control. Then sleep will come. (NLT)
Psalm 3:1-5 – O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!”
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.
I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.
The psalmist wrote, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” –Psalm 4:8 (NIV)
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
MEDITATE, MEDITATING, MEDITATION: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/meditate-meditating-meditation/
ATTITUDE, ATTITUDES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/attitude-attitudes/
DOUBT, DOUBTS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/doubt-doubts/
1 David’s call for God to act reveals his desire for justice against his persecutors. David himself was slapped and insulted, and here he simply asked for equal treatment for his enemies. He did this, not out of personal revenge, but for the sake of God’s justice. The last verse shows the humility behind David’s words—he realized that faith in God’s timing was the answer to his question about the success the wicked had unfairly achieved. (NLT)
Psalm 3:6-8 – I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.
Arise, O Lord! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Victory comes from you, O Lord. May your blessings rest on your people.
2 Rejoicing in God’s protection and peace; we can place our confidence in God because he will listen when we call on him. The godly are those who are faithful and devoted to God. David knew that God would hear him when he called and would answer him. We, too, can be confident that God listens to our prayers and answers when we call on him. Sometimes we think that God will not hear us because we have fallen short of his high standards for holy living. But if we have trusted Christ for salvation, God has forgiven us, and he will listen to us. When you feel as though your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, remember that as a believer you have been set apart by God and that he loves you. He hears and answers, although his answers may not be what you expect. Look at your problems in the light of God’s power instead of looking at God in the shadow of your problems.
There were specific rules for offering sacrifices, but more important to God than ceremony was the offerer’s attitude of submission and obedience. Today, a “proper sacrifice,” one that is pleasing to God, is still the same. He wants our obedience and our praise before our gifts. Offer God your sacrifice of total obedience and heartfelt praise.
Two kinds of joy are contrasted here—inward joy that comes from knowing and trusting God and happiness that comes as a result of pleasant circumstances. Inward joy is steady as long as we trust God; happiness is unpredictable. Inward joy defeats discouragement; happiness covers it up. Inward joy is lasting; happiness is temporary. (NLT)
Psalm 4:1-8 – Answer me when I call, O God who declares me innocent. Take away my distress. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make these groundless accusations? How long will you pursue lies?
You can be sure of this: The Lord has set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him.
Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Offer proper sacrifices, and trust in the Lord.
Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let the smile of your face shine on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and wine.
I will lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/