As pressure and stress bear down on me,
I find joy in your commands.
Psalm 119:143, NLT*
If that’s not a Christmas-related verse, I don’t know what is.
All jokes aside, you can’t read Psalm 119 and not see how the psalmist loves the Law of the Lord, how he thrives on it. I’ve been praying to better understand and follow his example.
At first this verse didn’t make sense to me. Pressure and stress bearing down… and he finds joy in God’s commands?
Pressure: God is the ultimate authority. This verse reminds me to trust Him to care for me and to ask for equipping wisdom or deliverance.
Perspective: It’s not me against the universe. God is bigger than the problem.
Focus: Centering on God’s way builds an attitude of God-trust instead of futile human striving or fighting the circumstances.
Wisdom: God’s code of conduct helps us know what to do, how to act in difficult situations.
Joy: There’s no joy looking at stress, but there’s deep joy in belonging to God. Keeping His Law, precepts and principles as the Spirit enables us keeps the barriers down between us.
Life: The next verse says
Your laws are always right;
help me to understand them so I may live.
Psalm 119:144, NLT*
Doing it God’s way brings joy and life in the midst of stress. What’s not to like?
God all-wise and loving, we can’t do this on our own, and that’s one reason You gave the Law in the first place, to help us see our need. Help us learn and understand, and through Your Holy Spirit keep us focused and following. Thank You for the joy and life You give.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.