O Lord, you are righteous, and your regulations are fair. Your laws are perfect and completely trustworthy. I am overwhelmed with indignation, for my enemies have disregarded your words. Your promises have been thoroughly tested; that is why I love them so much. I am insignificant and despised, but I don’t forget your commandments. Your justice is eternal, and your instructions are perfectly true. As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. Your laws are always right; help me to understand them so I may live. Psalm 119: 137-144 NLT
As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.
Would you consider yourself under a lot of pressure lately? Is stress -- positive or negative -- your only true companion?
I would say yes to both questions in my own life. In fact, I recently took an on-line survey for my health benefits that said the one factor that I need to learn to handle in a better manner is stress. Forget smoking or eating incorrectly -- I need to cut out stress or learn how to relax! And boy do I! Some nights I just can’t seem to wind down because I always have one more chore to do.
The psalmist recommends handling stress by finding joy in God’s commands.
For me, this means taking time to read scripture. I have a hard time doing that because I am always reading for work. In my life, scripture is not for reading or learning as much as it is for bible study, sermons, devotionals or future retreats. What the psalmist seems to be saying to me is that I need quiet scripture time in order to find my joy in God’s word. This also means taking it slow -- not reading for a goal but to simply immerse myself in God’s word.
God, as pressure and stress bear down on me, help me to find joy in your commands. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Copyright Amelia G. Sims 2012