Are You Sleeping Well?—Psalm 3
How well we sleep sometimes indicates how much we really trust the Lord. David said, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me” (v. 5). You may say, “I can do that anytime.” But what if you’d been where David was? He was fleeing from his own son Absalom. His own son had turned against him and had driven him from Jerusalem. Now David was in the wilderness with his army. It would be difficult to lie down and sleep knowing that you were in a dangerous wilderness and that your own son was against you. Oh, it wasn’t the physical danger that would keep David awake. He knew God could take care of that. It was the inner spiritual and emotional agony of having his own flesh and blood trying to seize the kingdom from him.
But David said, in effect, “Lord, You are able to give me peace in my heart, the protection I need, the perspective I need. You are able to help me in the midst of this difficult situation.” The heart of every problem is really the problem in the heart. David knew that it was not the army on the outside that would keep him awake, it was the agony on the inside. You and I like to manufacture problems on the inside, don’t we?
This psalm starts with David’s crying out, “Many are they who rise up against me” (v. 1). He’s pleading for help. The psalm ends with David’s singing a song of praise (v. 8). Your day might begin by your pleading for help. But if you are trusting the Lord, it could end by your praising Him for the help He has given you.
Bigger and Better—Psalm 4
Sometimes God’s people can be so discouraging! In Psalm 4 we find David listening to people who are saying, “Who will show us any good?” (v. 6). David’s own men were discouraged. David and his men were going through a time of trial, and some of his men were saying, “O David, this is the end. God is no longer going to help us.” That’s hard to take. It’s rough when your associates or your friends say to you, “Well, you’ve reached the end. Who will show us any good?”
But notice that David called on the Lord and that God enlarged him. “You have relieved [enlarged] me when I was in distress” (v. 1). Pressure on the outside should make us bigger on the inside. The trials of life will press against you and make you either a midget or a giant—either smaller or bigger. But you have to start on the inside. “You have relieved me when I was in distress.” How did this happen? David cried out to God. “You have put gladness in my heart” (v. 7). He started out with sadness and ended up with gladness. He started with tears and ended with triumph. Once again he’s sleeping beautifully. “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (v. 8).
David discovered that the important thing in life is not the circumstance around you but the attitude within you. Let God enlarge you when you are going through distress. He can do it. You can’t do it, and others can’t do it for you. In fact, they may want to make things even tighter and narrower for you. But when you turn to the Lord and trust Him, He has a way of enlarging you on the inside. You’ll come out of your distresses a bigger person because you’ve trusted in the Lord.
© Warren Wiersbe
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).