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Rest in the Midst of Trials

David was experiencing great difficulty. He was in a "tight corner." God permits tight corners (II Sam. 12:10). He forgives but disciplines, and we reap what we sow (Ps. 25:17).

Psalm 4 is encouraging because it tells us that God cares for us and gives us several blessings in the midst of our trials. First, He gives us the blessing of enlargement (v. 1). Relieved means "enlarged." When God permits enlarged troubles, He enlarges His people; that is, we grow. Joseph is a good example of this (Ps. 18:19,36). His difficulties revealed his character, and he grew. Enlarged troubles lead to an enlarged life, which leads to an enlarged place and enlarged paths. God had an enlarged ministry for David, but He first had to make him grow.

Second, God gives us the blessing of encouragement (vv. 2,3). Eventually, all earthly causes will fail. Only the plan of God will succeed. The Lord is our shield, our glory and the One who lifts our head. In this life we will have problems, but God encourages us.

Third, God gives us the blessing of enablement (vv. 4,5). Tight corners bring us face to face with trusting versus temptation (Matt. 4:3,4). David had a right to be angry. Anger can be used of God to bring about righteousness, or it can be used by Satan to bring about sin (James 1:20). Meditate means "to discuss with yourself." It's so easy to brood when we're lying in bed, but God gives quietness when we meditate (Ps. 46:10).

Fourth, God gives us the blessings of enlightenment and enjoyment (vv. 6-8). David's people were discouraged. Are you a discourager or an encourager? As Christians, we should have the smile of God upon us (Num. 6:25). We should exhibit gladness and joy in the Lord. God adds to this the blessing of peace and sleep. This is possible when Christ is Savior. So get your eyes off the enemy and on the Lord. The temptation to sin is great during difficulties, but trust in the Lord, and He will give you peace and joy in the midst of difficulty.

God's blessings are designed to do more than simply comfort us in our difficulties; they are to help us grow. Take strength from knowing that God is weaving His purposes into your life and that He will reward your trust in Him. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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