There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?” Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon us. You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increase. I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone
O LORD, make me dwell in safety .Psalms 4:6-8 NKJV
Negative situations and individuals may be an everyday experience for us. Difficulties can abound, littering life with disappointments and pain. David cried out with verse one, Give me relief from my distress, be merciful to me and hear my prayer. Matthew Henry states ‘When men condemn us unjustly, this is our comfort, It is God who justifies; He is the God of the believers righteousness.’ When the LORD lifts up the light of His countenance upon us, it changes something significant inside our heart and spirit. Something we could never hope to change in our own strength. Oh, the love of our Lord is ever-present and healing.
Imagine experiencing His presence during a trial. His uplifting, cleansing, nurturing, filling and causing the overcoming of each painful experience. David mentions in Psalms 4:4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your hearts on your bed, and be still. When angry, isn’t it quite difficult to keep silent? Our minds may run over and over the topic of our dis-ease or uneasiness. But, once we have settled down to obey the Lord and be still, His love, joy and bounty can fill those wounded places inside our hearts. May His name be glorified! What a summertime joy within our spirit! Peace, long-suffering, patience, forgiveness, loving kindness, truth, and grace will change us to resemble Him in character and attitude. Our joy in this transformation is over and above the material gain and glory this world offers.
Worldly gain can be destroyed by drought, fire, or storm. The work of the Lord in our hearts can’t be taken away from us by loss, pain or bad report unless we allow it. I’m not saying that trials aren’t difficult. Sometimes it's all we can do to hold on to Him. But, with His strength it's doable. Receiving His approval is like a balm. He bolsters us up and fortifies us with courage to overcome life’s disasters. He makes us stronger if we become quiet and receptive in His presence. As long as we allow His ministrations to those pain-filled tempests we will become spiritually rich. Despite tragedies and because of them too, our response to His Spirit can be instrumental in offering healing and wisdom to others.
He is like a tree planted by the rivers of water. That brings forth it’s fruit in season, whose leaf also does not wither. And whatever he does prospers. Psalms 1:3
We can be those spiritual fruit-bearing trees laden down with the sweet offerings of a fruitful life. Our hearts, our names, our purposes are safe in Him, and we will prosper for all eternity in His presence for His glory.
Be still, receive, and thrive!
Susan Marlene Kinney is published in Splickety Love magazine and newspapers. She writes devotions, fiction, and nonfiction. She is a member and co-founder of Pens of Praise Christian Writers and is a member of Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW WISE, and Lighthouse Christian Writers. She speaks at writers groups and prepares devotions and teachings often for Pens of Praise Christian Writers. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and At-Risk Teacher’s Aide. She loves antiques and training her Leonberger, who in turn loves to train her. But don't tell the cat, she thinks she has everyone under control.