Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.
On days I’m not even looking for trouble, overloading my schedule, or trying to get my own way, stress can come find me and come upon me in the most unwelcoming way anyway. Not fair. Even when I’m trying to do things right and well, trouble comes looking for me? Just consequences of a sinful world, that’s all.
But your commands give me delight... How is that possible?
If I’m to allow God’s commands to lighten my burden, give me joy, and even delight my heart, then the practice is for me to keep doing what I’m doing. I shouldn’t stop obeying what I know is right just because trouble finds me anyhow. “It doesn’t make any difference, why try...” is not what God is expressing through this Psalm.
Trouble and distress don’t happen all the time. But God’s commands give me delight all the time. (I can even get encouragement by just imagining if the whole world obeyed God too!) So I believe I should stick with the sure thing and give more attention to the latter than to the former. So what if trouble finds me instead of the other way around; I’m going to obey God anyway.
My favorite words in all of Scripture are from Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. When told to bow down to a giant golden statue and worship it by the king who held their lives in his will replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (From Daniel 3:16-18)
Trouble found these guys because they were obeying God. And they continued to obey God in spite of the circumstances.
Trouble is going to find me because I believe in Jesus. Jesus already warned all Believers in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.”
Trouble, stress, unfortunate circumstances, and grief are going to find me. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow. But the one thing that stays the same every single day is God’s Word. The things he asks me to do are good and are always good. When I think about that, I do, indeed, have delight!
Thank you for your good Will that never changes. Help me not to get that confused with my circumstances that constantly change. Thank you for the courage of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego so long ago that encourages me to this day. Help me to be bold to always obey you, to never give up on your commands, and to find the delight that accompanies this kind of lifestyle. I love you and praise you and pray in your Son’s name, amen.