Read Psalm 4:6-7
"There are many who say, 'Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!' You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound."
As you read through Psalm 4, think about the following questions: What does God provide in this Psalm? What are some modern ways people might offer "wrong" sacrifices to God?
I remember watching a home movie a missionary brought back from India. Amidst the images of poverty and sickness one image particularly struck me: children laughing and playing. I understand the need for medical supplies for these impoverished people and the need for good nourishment, but I found myself envying these children just a little--I wished I could be so happy with so little.
These children didn't have cable TV, they didn't have video games, they didn't have fancy air-powered water guns. They didn't have any of the things I associate with happiness and yet they played. I felt a little like the Grinch standing with his sleigh of stolen presents listening to the song of the "Whos." There's got be something more to happiness than things.
David, the author of many of the Psalms in the Bible knew the secret to happiness. He knew the joy of having a relationship with God. In Psalm 4 David describes how God hears his prayer when he is troubled (4:1). He sings of how God has set apart the godly for Himself. (4:3). In other words, those who dedicate their lives to God have a special place in the heart of God. Everyone is loved by God, but we who love Him back are blessed for it.
David goes on to encourage us to put our trust in God (4:5). Then David address all those who stand around wondering "who will show us some good?" (4:6, ESV). They are looking everywhere else and not finding anything that will bring them happiness. David says, "Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD! You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound" (4:6-7, ESV).
True happiness, lasting joy can only come from God. Only God is big enough to handle our concerns and provide for our happiness. And in the last verse David tells us that only God can give us peace and safety as well (4:8).
I find it hard to pray for more things now. I enjoy my TV, and books and such; but I pray that God will show me how to be happy. I want to know the joy that comes from my relationship with the everlasting God. I want to know that even if I lose everything tonight, tomorrow my heart will still sing praises to God.
Lord, help me see past the distractions of this world and to experience true joy through my relationship with You. Amen.