Have you struggled to sleep through the night because you were waiting for an answer?
Maybe you are waiting to hear back when you can start work again. Perhaps you want to hear the voice of your loved one telling you they are okay, and you get anxious when you do not get a quick response. Or you struggle, waiting to hear whether you got the job or got accepted to the school of your choice.
In Psalm 4, God describes the very real struggle we feel when we pray and God does not seem to pick up and respond immediately.
“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!” (v.1)
Can you relate?
Have you ever said, “PICK UP THE PHONE WHEN I CALL YOU!” as you wait for the “BEEP” to leave the voicemail for the person you are trying to reach?
Trust Enough to Make a Call and Leave a Message
The psalmist, David, has left a message with God because David knows he needs God’s help. When he is distressed and restless in the night, he is confident that although he feels pressed in, God will answer and bring relief.
“You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.” (v.1)
Many of us are concerned and feeling pressed in right now. It is as if the challenges and sufferings we are going through are boxing us into a corner with limited options for escape. It can feel as though our sufferings have put us in a straitjacket with no options to move. God encourages us to cry out to Him in prayer and confidently trust that He hears and can provide the relief we need. We should do this even as we wait for His answer.
Know that You Have Signal and Your God Has the Best Reception
God wants you to know something, Christian friend. The Lord hears you when you call to Him. He has better reception than you and I can imagine. You must know and believe that God shows you special favor as one of His saints. He grants you special favor to approach His throne and He listens to your concerns.
“But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him.” (v.3)
Right now, you have the King of the Universe’s ear—the One who is telling all the viruses in the world this far and no further. The One who sustains this world and all our lives. He commands us to boldly come to His throne of grace for the mercy and grace to help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). He wants us to live like members of His family that recognize their need for their great Father (Romans 8:15).
What an incredible privilege that He sets us apart, showing us special favor, by listening to our prayers even though we feel like we are in a straitjacket making a desperate call about a situation that seems suffocating!
Remember God’s Goodness as You Wait
In times of trouble, many are quick to be discouraged and question where to look for goodness to come.
“Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”
Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!” (v.6)
Our God’s power gives us hope to not be discouraged, and we can even ask God to act and transform the situation. Sometimes He may do this, and other times He gives us what we need to grow and endure through the adverse situations. So, if you are tossing and turning, wondering if God cares and will He provide, remember the ways He has been good. Recall when you have found joy in God when times were especially hard. Then compare these joyful but hard times to other times when you were unhappy, even when times were good, and you experienced little hardship. God wants our hearts to recognize that the joy we have in Him is greater than any joy that comes from prospering materially in the world during these times.
Can you say,
“You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound” (v.7)?
Sleep Well, Knowing God Cares for You
Remember that feeling of relief when you were restless and could not sleep, and then you get the answer you were waiting for and your body sinks into the bed with peaceful stillness.
Your loved one answers back and texts you that they are okay. You sigh with peace.
The email comes into your inbox that you were accepted for the job. You have this peace and joy that everything will be okay.
The answer from God that helps us sleep peacefully is knowing that God makes us safe and secure. This is what gives David peace as he goes to bed remembering the Lord alone is his security and safety in times of trouble.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” (v.8)
In the nights to come, may You, “Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!” May we sleep peacefully knowing You hear our prayers and You alone make us dwell in safety.