Sleep Tight In Scary Times
Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Intro: The world we live in is downright scary. The events of the past few days and weeks have caused me to experience things I never thought I would experience. I have thought thoughts I never thought I would think. I have felt feelings that I never thought I would feel. I have asked questions that I never thought I would ask. As a husband and as a dad, I have had feelings of anxiety and uncertainty as to how I could protect and provide for my family.
For the first time in decades, we are in serious danger of the terrible tragedy of a nuclear attack.
My daughter is in California. North Korea could put a nuclear warhead on the west coast in 33 minutes.
We are here – just 35 miles from Washington D.C. and the imminent fallout of a possible nuclear attack hanging over our heads.
This year – 2017, we have recorded over 315 homicides in less than a 20 mile radius of our church.
Is it possible for a child of God to be able to sleep tight in these scary times?
I believe so! Here’s how…
I. The Reassurance of Prayer
Notice how many times David resorts to the power of prayer during difficult and fearful times.
- Verse 1 – Hear me when I call, O God…
- Verse 1 – Have mercy upon me and hear my prayer
- Verse 3 – …the Lord will hear when I call unto Him
- middle of Verse 6 through 8 is a prayer
Prayer has a way of calming your inner man.
Prayer has a way of creating a peace in your heart.
Prayer has a way of calibrating your wandering eyes.
II. The Reassessment of Priorities
A. The Righteousness of God
There is a definite protection for those that are set apart unto God.
- 3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself:
Set apart: to be distinct, marked out, be separated, be distinguished
- 4 sin not…
- 5a Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
No matter what happens around us, we need to stay close to God and set apart unto Him
You may not have any control over the events around you, but you can sanctify yourself!
God will set apart those that are godly.
Stay busy staying holy – that will produce a safety and an assurance of God’s protection.
B. Reverence toward God
- 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
If you are overwhelmed with fear, take your eyes off of the world and look at Him.
Stop thinking about the fears and start meditating on the Father.
Spend time in reverence and meditation and get your mind back on track.
C. Reliance on God
Several times David alludes to the power of faith to help you in times of distress.
- 5b …and put your trust in the LORD.
He goes on in verse 6 to mention those that doubt God.
- 6 There be many that say, “Who will shew us any good?”
III. The Recognition of Providence
- 6b …LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
The Psalmist was taking heart at the prospect of “the light of thy countenance” upon him.
- 7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
He was more interested in God’s attention than in tangible gifts from God.
He was resting in the personal attention of God.
In fact, he noted that the gladness in his heart was greater than the corn and wine of the doubters.
- 8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
He was resting in the sovereign providence of God.
David was able to lay down and sleep in peace – recognizing that HIS GOD was in control!