By Travis Lauterbach
The treasure trove of Psalms can bring rich words of comfort that bless the soul.
Psalms can help people through the good and bad, the sorrows and joys they experience. In doing so, the psalms ultimately give an answer that rests in God’s grace.
Many psalms cry out to God in the midst of trouble, with God’s comfort being proclaimed somewhere within the psalm itself.
This is what happens in Psalm 4.
King David says, “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” (Psalm 4:1, ESV).
David experienced some sort of trouble, and so he calls on God for help.
His basis for doing so, as stated in this Psalm, is the fact that God had done so in the past. Therefore, just as God had given him relief in the past, David calls God to graciously relieve him now.
Prayers to the Lord aren’t just pious sounding words, as people often suppose. They are a cry out to the One who made heaven and earth, to the One who is gracious and merciful.
By the end of the Psalm, David finds his comfort in the Lord Himself. He declares, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalm 4:7).
In other words, all of the comfort food in the world can’t compare to the joy that David receives from the Lord.
One may think of what was spoken centuries later: “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Nothing in the world can fill people with such joy as the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord carries people through distress, as David testifies in this Psalm.
What happens when people are in deep distress? Sleep eludes them. Yet, the Lord has answered David’s cry of distress.
So David ends the psalm, saying, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).