Love Came Down with Peace

   Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.
For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the Lord,
They shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
[1]

Like a child at old King David’s knee, as we draw near to his words,  David gently establishes how to trust God  with simplicity and truth.

Rest, my child.
Trust, weary one.
Wait for the One who will never forsake you, says the one who was never forsaken.

Watch for the miracles. – I’ve seen them!
Listen to His kindness. – He is always speaking.
Learn to depend on His provision, says the King who lived it.

Feed on His Faithfulness.  

Celebrate God.   Delight in the One who always loves. – worship always brings peace.

  To those on this faith journey,  David says check your heavy baggage, o aching heart which longs for justice. The wise King  urges us to stop looking at the wicked and instead, delight yourself in God, for He truly is delightful.  

Dr. Carolyn Leaf (2) and Dr. Daniel Amen (3), both leading neurologists on the power of thought suggest we check our stinking thinking and meditate upon the goodness of God as a strategy to remain in abundant peace.

The wise king  knew humanity’s propensity for revenge, legalism, how we are hardwired to default to shame and blame yet David challenges the faithful not to fret, for it truly causes harm.

Negativity and fear destroy healthy brain matter, releasing damaging stress hormones throughout our body.  Over the long-term, negative thought patterns reap pain and sickness in both our bodies and relationships.

David didn’t have scientific data.  It was the testimony of his life that proved God’s goodness.  As an old man, David affirms that delight in the Lord is the open door to peace.

  Perhaps you are aware that David had encountered much sorrow in his life.  He was the youngest of eight sons.  He worked as a lowly shepherd and was treated poorly by his family. He was hired to be a minstrel to Saul who fought bitter internal demons. He slew Goliath then fought as a national warrior in hand to hand combat for years in Israel’s war campaigns against the Philistines.

Betrayed by his jealous father-in-law , King Saul, David endured years as a fugitive in the nation he had served to protect. Long after God established David to the throne, David bore the shame of watching his nation divide in allegiance as his own son, Absalom staged a coup, assaulting David’s wives on the palace roof in a brutal public statement to Israel that the king’s authority had been shattered. That scene of David, standing on the far side of the Jordan, dethroned and dismissed by his own, pierces deep.  David too, forsook his nation, when he slept with his trusted friend’s wife and commanded Uriah to be killed on the battlefield to avoid exposure. When his son from that union died, David accepted God’s justice and ruled as Israel’s king yet strife had plagued the kingdom from that point onward.

As  a man who has endured many trials, battles and victories, King David salutes the goodness of God:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.
[4]

In this psalm of worship, King David teaches that life’s circumstances bow to the grace of knowing God and there the sweetness of abundant life flows.

Like the child in The Secret Garden (5),  David reaches into his pocket for the key to open the door to a secret place of peace; the well-worn key is trust in God. When we wander the landscape, like a weary child  in a wheelchair of grief or loss or confusion, David pushes open the door to a secret garden, and urges us through this psalm to worship God and step out of distress and into freedom.

  Like a breath of sweet garden fragrance, David counsels us to delight in God, to pause and remember Who our God is, to close our eyes to life’s limitations and instead look upon God’s greatness, His amazing goodness and His unwavering love for each of us. Like the quiet of the secret garden, delight in the Lord ushers us into a place of abundant peace and wonder and hope once more.

On this Christmas Day, may the Princeof Peace usher you into His presence and bring you abundant life as His own. May the hush of the morning lead you straight into glorious encounter as you find the truth, like the shepherds long ago, that indeed, the Saviour of the world has come for us all.

Let’s pray: 
Father God, You are wondrous. Lord Jesus, you are always fair and just. This Christmas, we delight in You. We will seek You until we find You.  Almighty God,  thank You that You draw near, that Your Love came down in that stable long ago,  that You bring peace! Amen.

STUDY QUESTIONS:

Why not do a random act of Kindness for each question you would have completed. Merry Christmas, from all of us to all of you! 

  
 This Week:Psalm 24-45
Next Week: Psalm 46-65

[1]The New King James Version. 1982 (Ps 37:1-11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.                 

 [2] Leaf, Dr. Carolyn.  Who Switched off My Brain? 2009. Nashville:  Thomas Nelson.

[3}Amen, Dr. Daniel. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. 2015. Canada: Harmony. 

[4]The New King James Version. 1982 (Ps 37:23-26). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.                  

[5] Hodgson Burnett, Frances.  The Secret Garden.  London:  Bantam, 1987 reissue.