In chapter four God seeks to cause us to understand that we, the people that seek righteousness, will be rejected by the world but find joy and peace in Him. In chapter five He seeks to encourage us to strive for holiness and be cautious of false teachers.
David speaks of the ridicule from the world towards the righteous (Psa 4:1-4)
God is our exceeding great reward.
We can always be confident that God hears our prayers. If we need proof, all we need to do is look into our past. When we were anxious, sorrowful, or in pain, He gave us relief.
This confidence will draw ridicule from this world. This is because, in rejection of righteousness, people prefer philosophies and ideas that have no benefits and are often outright lies. It is amazing and saddening but we should not be shaken by persecution from the world.
We are assured that God identifies the righteous and marks them as one of His own. As one of His own, we can be confident that He will hear us when I call. We can encourage ourselves with this and find peace. In John 15:7 Jesus says, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
How have you experienced emotional and mental persecution for your faith? Which of God’s promises could you memorise to encourage you in such situation?
He speaks of the joy and peace that God gives the righteous (Psa 4:5-8)
The joy and peace we experience when we are in Jesus Christ are far greater than any we would find anywhere else.
We should, therefore, surrender wholeheartedly to God and stop seeking acceptance from the world. He will look at our faith with pleasure. He will fill our hearts with joy that is greater than the joy the ungodly get from prosperity. He will give us so much peace of mind that we will not be kept awake at night. When we lie down, we will immediately fall asleep.
What keeps you up at night or fills your heart with sorrow? Will you surrender these issues to Christ?
God can not be approach in unrighteousness because He hates sin (Psa 5:1-6)
God is not neutral to sin. He hates it.
In the morning when we pray we need to sanctify ourselves to make room for God’s spirit to work in us and wait for his response. By sanctifying, I mean, we need to search ourselves and repent of any sin.
This is because God is not neutral to sin. Bear in mind 1 John 1:8 where we read, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Those that come to Him with a self-righteous attitude will not be justified and He will out rightly reject all that consciously choose to disregard His word.
Therefore, the proper way to approach God in pray is only through Jesus Christ. Through the abundance of God’s mercy and grace in Jesus Christ, we have been made righteous.
What kind of environment have you provided for the Holy Spirit in your heart? What sins do you need to repent so that you can experience a more intimate relationship with God?
We should not seek for righteousness through the teaching of men but rather from God’s word (Psa 5:7-12)
An accurate understanding of God’s nature and His will leads to us finding pleasure in Him.
When we approach God we need to come to him in reverence and adoration out of fear that comes from the recognition of His might and hatred of evil.
This fear should lead us to pray to Him to guide us on how to live in righteousness according to His word because they are those that seek to lead us astray. We need to pray that God directs us so that we are always heading towards Him where we will find joy forever.
God’s presence will cover us when we love Him without trying to conform Him to our self-conceived image. This way, we will find great pleasure in God because He will show unrestrained favour to and look with pleasure towards us. He will surround us with kindness, mercy, and grace.
In contrast, nothing that is true and sure comes from the mouth of the people who are trying to lead us astray. Their teachings lead to great sorrow, spiritual death, and self-righteousness.
How often do you read the scriptures for yourself? What reasons do you have for not reading the Bible from cover to cover for yourself? How will you pray to God for help in overcoming these reasons?