PSALMS 4:6-8: “Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” NLT
OBSERVATION: The year 2020 is coming to a close. In just a few short days we will say goodbye to one of the most unusual and challenging years we have ever faced. We were not embroiled in a world war. We were not facing a worldwide economic collapse, although there was economic hardship. We were battling an invisible enemy, a virus, and the crippling fear that held nations in its grip.
With just a few days until we ring in the New Year, will 2021 be any different? As the Psalmist asks,
- “Who will show us better times?”
Will a change in the political landscape usher in days of health and prosperity? Will just a new calendar year put us in a better psychological state of mind? Will we simply embrace wearing masks as the new norm? Who will show us better times?
David faced his share of hard times. Ridiculed by his brothers and hunted by the king he defended in battle, David too was looking for a better day, a better year! Yet, David had learned the wonderful secret of living in hope. He was not looking for something to happen in his life to improve things. David was looking to the Someone in his life who alone could show him better times!
- “Let your face smile on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.”
Think about these words in the context of living in a cave rather than the royal palace. Think about these words while hunting your food each day rather than being served around the royal table. Think about these words as one who lived as a nomad, without a home, separated from family and friends. David put his hope and his trust in the favor of the Lord!
We can choose to live in the shadow of fear or the favor of the Lord. To live in the favor of the Lord does not mean our circumstances immediately change. They didn’t immediately change for David. To live in the favor of the Lord is to abide in His presence, to experience His peace, the be filled with the joy of the Lord. This joy was not dependent upon circumstances. In fact, his joy superseded any circumstances David faced.
When we look at the favor of the Lord as the shadow that follows our life, we experience great peace. It is a peace that the world cannot give. It is not tied to the economy or our state of comfort. It is a peace that is only found in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you remember the story of Jesus in the boat with His disciples? The disciples were fighting a great storm and Jesus was sound asleep in the back of the boat. How could Jesus sleep amid the storm? He was living in the favor of the Father!
- “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”
Many a night David laid his head upon a rock. Saul and his armies were hunting him like a wild animal. Yet, David could lie down in peace and sleep. He knew that the Lord’s favor was upon him. David had received the promise of the Lord and he was fully trusting in the Lord to accomplish this in his life.
I firmly believe that the child of God can walk in confidence and peace in every situation. The Lord has a calling for each one of us. If we choose to walk in obedience to this calling, if we position our lives under the favor of God, if we abide under this shadow of His wing (presence), there is nothing that can keep us from fulfilling the days He has allotted to us. We can walk in confidence and peace. The Lord’s face (favor) is shining upon us!
So how will I position myself to enter the New Year? Will I see better times? Will I lay down in peace and sleep each night? Will my life be filled with joy even amid the storm? These questions are only answered when I answer this…
- “Who will show us better times?”
Lord, help me to look only to You! Help me to anchor my hope in Christ alone! In 2021, help me to stay under the shadow of your favor.
In Jesus Name!