"Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the [inevitable] pit of corruption is dug for the wicked."
- Psalm 94:12-13 AMP
These verses from Psalm 94 reveal an encouraging biblical truth--that God’s people can experience a sense of deep, abiding peace, even in the midst of trouble and trial. But this kind of supernatural peace doesn’t come automatically. It comes as a by-product of our cooperating with God’s divine strategies for it.
The first thing we need to notice in these verses is that we must allow God to use His law, which is His Word, to discipline, instruct, and teach us. That means that we must spend regular time reading, studying, and listening to Scripture. As we do, the Holy Spirit will use it to direct and correct us. Suppose you are having trouble with your temper. You go to the Word, and the Spirit of God leads you to verses such as Proverbs 7:9 (NIV), which says, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” That’s God’s gentle, but potent, reminder that every time you neglect to control your anger in a situation, you are likely to end up looking and feeling foolish. If you take the Lord’s correction to heart--and ask Him to forgive you and help you--you will save yourself a lot of heartache and misery, and the Lord will honor you for it. One of the ways He can honor you is to “give [you] power to keep [yourself] calm” in tense situations. (Psalm 94:13)
Psalm 119:105 (NLT) says: “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Anytime we try to make an important decision without consulting the Word of God, we are at risk of missing His best. On the other hand, if we make the effort to get alone with God with an open Bible, we can say--“Lord, speak to my heart about this decision I need to make, and help me to hear and heed Your voice”--and we can expect Him to guide our steps along the path He has in mind for us. Then we’ll be right in the center of God’s will, and we’ll experience a blessed peace that we could never have outside of His will for us.
All the while we are allowing the Lord to use His Word to correct and direct us, and to empower us with His peace, He is busy digging a pit for the wicked forces that are troubling us. We are always better off letting God fight our battles for us, but many times, we have a part to play in our victory. If we ask the Lord what our part is, He may tell us to concentrate on praising and worshiping Him, as He told King Jehoshaphat in Second Chronicles 20. Or, He may show us some specific promises He wants us to claim and stand on. He might even show us exactly how He wants us to pray. Or He could give us a specific task to perform. Whatever our part is, His Word and His Spirit will give us the clarification and confirmation we need.
God wants you to enjoy your life, and you will be better able to do that if you have peace in the midst of your troubles and trials. Put His powerful strategies to work today, and watch Him do what only He can do!
Prayer: Lord, give me a growing passion for Your Word, so that I will devote myself to it the way You desire me to. Use Your Word to correct and direct me, and make me sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit’s leading at all times. Fight my battles for me, and show me how to cooperate with Your battle strategy. Thank You for the peace and the victories that will be mine as I wholeheartedly follow You!
- J. M. Farro