What To Do With Your Shame And Anger: Psalm 4

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HERE is a link to Psalm 4

Have you ever been distressed, angry, or ashamed? Where do you go, or what do you do when those seasons come? Have you found relief? King David comes alongside and offers us the relief we so desperately need. His example is a good model for us to follow when new morning mercies are storms instead of sunshine. David does five things; he prays, ponders, keeps quiet, reminds himself of truth, and finally he praises the Lord.

A prayer for relief can be as simple as lifting up your voice to the sovereign and all powerful God in heaven, and saying help. “Answer me when I call,” the psalmist says.

After he prays he ponders. He heads off to bed distressed, ashamed, and angry. He is angry, but instructs us to a way of dissolving anger so that it is not sinful and does not get the best of us. When his head hits the pillow, he begins a conversation with himself knowing the Lord is listening. The line between praying and pondering gets intertwined as the night goes on. Pondering and meditating are synonymous terms here. Essentially to ponder is to have an internal conversation with yourself in which you are turning ideas around in your mind trying to find solutions. When we ponder, we are to keep quiet and do this internally. James tells us if anyone does not sin with their mouth they are a perfect person. And Proverbs teaches us the more we speak, the more we sin. So pondering helps to keep our sin minimal as we wrestle through our anger.

More is needed from us in our pondering and the next step is to remind ourselves of truth. Anger and shame oftentimes blinds us to reality and skews our vision. In those moments, we need to bring the Word of God in to the conversation we are having with ourself. We are to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ and his word. King David remind himself the Lord hears his prayer and will be set apart for God. He reminds himself that he is to offer the sacrifices the Lord requires and trust Him. And he asks God to lift up the light of his countenance upon him.

As the psalmist’s eyes are heavy and nearly closed, he thanks the Lord for replacing his anger and shame with joy and peace. He remembers that God is for him and not against him. Peacefulness washes over him and he drifts off to sleep.

Believer, whatever is distressing you; whatever is causing you to be angry and ashamed; bring it to Jesus. Ask him for help, ponder and pray quietly to the Lord and remember the truths found in the Bible. Take your thoughts captive and make them believe what God says about you and not what you might feel. Then thank him for who he is and what he has and will do for you in Christ.


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