Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. 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. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4 ESV)
Sometimes my questions don’t get an answer. How much longer will wickedness go on? How much longer will I be misunderstood?
The answer may seem like it’s not an answer, at first glance . . .
The Lord has set the godly apart for himself — God knows me. God sees me. God is taking care of me.
The Lord hears when I call to him — God is not ignoring me. God hears. God understands.
There is still evil in this world. Asking “how long. . .” is a cry of frustration. I know the answer already. One day evil will be completely and eternally vanquished. Everything will be restored to its original created order. Brokenness will be done. But that time is not yet.
I can recount the past — You have given me relief when I was in distress
I can take action in the present — Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent — acknowledge that sometimes life can be unfair, and things are wrong. Whining over and over is not productive; raging and ‘venting’ on everyone around is not productive. Tell God; tell my journal. Then leave it alone . . .
I can be hopeful for the future — “. . .put your trust in the Lord. . .” — focus on God’s character, not my present circumstances
God has put more joy in my heart than any outside circumstances could give me. My joy is based upon His faithfulness, not on money or health or power or influence. I truly can get a good night’s sleep, because when I am where God wants me, no matter where that is, my soul is safe with Him.
But I still would like my cell phone to work . . .