READ Psalm 4
1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
3 Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD.
6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Read the psalm portion twice slowly. Then ask three questions and write out your answers:
Adore—What did you learn about God for which you could praise or thank him?
🔹God is a righteous God. God is a listening God. God is trust worthy. God answers prayers. God provides safety.
Admit—What did you learn about yourself for which you could repent?
🔹I repent that when I find myself in trouble I often turn to my own devices to fix the problem rather than calling on God for help. I don’t search my heart often enough or sit silent? The “sacrifices of righteousness” is a call to obedience and in obedience I trust the Lord, this is always a work in progress.
🔹Aspire—What did you learn about life that you could aspire to, ask for, and act on?
There are six instructions in this psalm: 1) Tremble, 2) Do not sin, 3) search your heart, 4) be silent [still], 5) offer right sacrifices, 6) trust in the Lord – I can aspire to follow all of them with the help of the Holy Spirit
Once you have answered these three questions, you have your own meditation on the psalm. Now read the meditation in the book and incorporate its insights into your journal notes. Finally, turn your meditation—already categorized as adoration, confession, and aspiration—into personal prayer, using the provided “on-ramp” prayer as well. This will take you into the deep level of wisdom and insight the psalms can provide.
Excerpt From: Timothy Keller & Kathy Keller. “The Songs of Jesus.“
JOY APART FROM CIRCUMSTANCES. How can we have peaceful sleep at night (verse 8) and joy—even when others are prospering and we are not (verse 7)? Consider whether you have a divided heart—making success or relationships into idols—and repent (verse 2). Consider whether you have a bitter heart—and forgive (verse 4). Finally, in prayer, seek God’s face, a sense of his presence and his love on your heart (verse 6). Then we can know we are safe in God, come what may.
Prayer: Lord, other “gods” compete with you for the allegiance of my heart. I nurse resentment toward people who have wronged me, and sometimes toward you. It is these things that keep me from knowing the joy of your presence and the peace of your protection. Help me remove them and fill my heart with your joy. Amen… Help me Holy Spirit to recognize my need for God more often, keep me from sinning, make me think before I react, teach me to wait upon the Lord, help me with being obedient and trusting, I pray these things in the name and power of Jesus, my Jesus.