Before we start reading, let’s reflect on these questions:
- Do I believe that God is my strength and that my relationship with him is what will bring me joy, peace, safety, and security?
- Do I believe that if I call out to God and make room for him, my life will be blessed, and I will find joy?
Because he is proud, that evil person doesn’t turn to the LORD. There is no room for God in any of his thoughts.
Psalm 10:4 NIrV
When we are proud, we see no need for God. We think we can figure things out independently, and we don’t make room for him in our thoughts or lives. We either don’t make time for him in our day, or we do read the Bible and pray but we are distracted while we do it. Instead of slowing our minds down to listen to what God says, we think about what we need to do or say.
If spending quality time with God is not a high priority in our lives, we may need to strengthen some of our beliefs about who God is and how our relationship with him will change our lives.
Why we need to make room for God
We need to make sure our convictions about God are strong so that we keep our relationship with him our top priority, no matter what we go through in life.
1. God is the guardian of our life and soul
I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from GOD, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. [3-4] He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep. [5-6] GOD’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you- Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moon stroke. [7-8] GOD guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.
Psalm 121:1-8 MSG
God is a guardian! He protects us and shields us. Where do you look for strength?
What are the worldly ways people look for strength? (“strength from the mountains”) A life of excess: escapes in travel, living for pleasure to find relief, drinking alcohol, greed, materialism, status-seeking.
What worldly escapes can substitute a relationship with God in your life? We need to distinguish ourselves from the world by looking for strength in God.
2. God watches over our lives
The LORD watches over the lives of godly people. But the lives of sinful people will lead to their death.
Having a relationship with God means God is watching over you!
Sometimes we start living for pleasure because we are discouraged and no longer believe God is watching over us. Do you believe God cares enough to watch over your life?
3. God hears us
Even before they call out to me, I will answer them. While they are still speaking, I will hear them.
Isaiah 65:24 NIrV
God hears us! When we have this conviction, we will call out to him.
My faithful God, answer me when I call out to you. Give me rest from my trouble. Have mercy on me. Hear my prayer.
Psalm 4:1 NIrV
God can give us rest from our trouble. This is one of the reasons we need to stay close to God when we are going through hard times instead of compromising our time with him.
How have you compromised your times with God? How does this affect how you handle hard times in your life?
4. Obeying the Bible makes us happy
Blessed is the person who obeys the law of the LORD. They don’t follow the advice of evil people. They don’t make a habit of doing what sinners do. They don’t join those who make fun of the LORD and his law.
Psalm 1:1 NIrV
Blessed means happy! Happy is the person who obeys the Bible. How do you influence your friends – for good or evil? Do you influence your friends to believe more in God, or turn more to worldly solutions?
Are you more influenced by the “advice” of the world or by God? The world tells us how to live through social media or other outlets all the time, and sometimes we start believing that sinful or godless things will make us happier than obeying the Bible.
What are some worldly ‘habits’ we can get into? Looking for escapes without God or other Christians can be a habit that doesn’t actually bring the happiness we are looking for. How can we ‘make fun’ of God and church? Not stand up for God?
Find Joy in God
Instead, the law of the LORD gives them joy. They think about his law day and night.  That kind of person is like a tree that is planted near a stream of water. It always bears its fruit at the right time. Its leaves don’t dry up. Everything godly people do turns out well.
Psalm 1:2-3 NIrV
Do you find joy in reading the Bible? Are you too anxious, worried and fearful to read the Bible? Try listening to God’s Word in the morning when you get ready or on your commute. Having a relationship with God means we never dry up. We always have a purpose and bear fruit at the right time.
What are signs of drying up spiritually? Disinterest and apathy in our prayer life. Hollow, superficial advice. Compromised conviction. Feeling fearful and guilty. Seeing everything as a problem. You have a negative filter. Doubting, losing faith, unbelief
Having a relationship with God gives us confidence for success.
5. God helps us win our battles
Surely, LORD, you bless those who do what is right. Like a shield, your loving care keeps them safe.
Psalm 5:12 NIrV
The Most High God is like a shield that keeps me safe. He saves those whose hearts are honest.
Psalm 7:10 NIrV
LORD, you are like a shield that keeps me safe. You bring me honor. You help me win the battle.
Psalm 3:3 NIrV
God is a shield and a safe place. God can help us win the battles in our lives. What are some battles in your life that you can only win with God’s help?
Some examples are: The battle over fear and doubt. The battle over lust and lying. The battle over bitterness and resentment. The battle over competing and comparing. The battle over jealousy and envy
6. God gives mercy and comfort when our souls are troubled
 LORD, don’t correct me when you are angry. Don’t punish me when you are very angry.  LORD, have mercy on me. I’m so weak. LORD, heal me. My body is full of pain.  My soul is very troubled. LORD, how long will it be until you save me?  LORD, turn to me and help me. Save me. Your love never fails.  Dead people can’t call out your name. How can they praise you when they are in the grave?… The LORD has heard my weeping.  The LORD has heard my cry for his mercy. The LORD accepts my prayer.
Psalm 6:1-5, 8-9 NIrV
God is there for you to give mercy and comfort when your soul is troubled.
Sometimes, when our bodies are full of physical pain, we can neglect our spiritual lives and forget that our souls need healing along with our physical bodies. We begin to think the root of our problems is physical instead of spiritual. God can heal the trouble in our souls so that we have tremendous faith even in the midst of physical pain.
We need scriptures like this to help us remember that God cares about our pain, hears our cries, accepts our prayers, and heals the trouble in our soul. What pain or suffering are you going through that you need spiritual healing for?
7. God takes note of our pain and does something about it
 God, you see the problems of people in trouble. You take note of their pain. You do something about it… LORD, you hear the desires of those who are hurting. You cheer them up and give them hope. You listen to their cries.
Psalm 10:14, 17 NIrV
 LORD, I will give thanks to you with all my heart. I will tell about all the wonderful things you have done.  LORD, those who know you will trust in you. You have never deserted those who look to you.  But God will never forget needy people. *The hope of those who are hurting will never die.
Psalm 9:1, 10, 18 NIrV
God sees when we are in pain and he promises to do something about it.
People in our lives – even the most caring and well-meaning – don’t usually have enough bandwidth to hear and take note of all of our pain. But God does. He promises to take note of our pain and do something about it. What pain in your life do you need God’s help with?
How do we make room for God?
Look deep down inside our hearts
Tremble and do not sin. When you are in bed, look deep down inside yourself and be silent.
Psalm 4:4 NIrV
God, you always do what is right. You look deep down inside the hearts and minds of people…
Psalm 7:9 NIrV
..knowing what lies ahead for you, you won’t become bored with being a Christian nor become spiritually dull and indifferent, but you will be anxious to follow the example of those who receive all that God has promised them because of their strong faith and patience.
Hebrews 6:12 TLB
God can help us deal with what’s deep down inside our hearts. To be close to him, we have to be willing to look at what’s deep down inside our hearts, like our fears, emotions, and guilt.
Have you become bored or spiritually indifferent? We become dull and indifferent when we stop looking at what’s inside our hearts.
God gives us hope! God does not desert us when we call out to him.
Admit your false sense of security
He says to himself, “I will always be secure.” He promises himself, “No one will ever harm me.” His mouth is full of lies and warnings. With his tongue he speaks evil and makes trouble.
Psalm 10:6-7, 14-15 NIrV
We can be deceived into a false security that we can live a life without God. Where do you look for security outside of your relationship with God?
Foolish people say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They do all kinds of horrible and evil things. No one does anything good.  The LORD looks down from heaven on all people. He wants to see if there are any who understand. He wants to see if there are any who trust in God.  All of them have turned away. They have all become evil. No one does anything good, no one at all.
Psalm 14:1-3 NIrV
Have doubts begun to fill your heart? When we start doubting that God exists, hears us, and cares about us, we will begin to fill our lives with all kinds of other sins to try to get our needs met.
God makes our life secure
The LORD watches over those who do what is right. But he really hates sinful people and those who love to hurt others.  The LORD always does what is right. So he loves it when people do what is fair. Those who are honest will enjoy his blessing.
Psalm 11:5, 7
God watches over us. The Bible also says God really hates the sin in people’s hearts. That’s not because he hates us when we sin, but because he hates how sin hurts us, other people, and our relationship with him. God is good and wants good things for us and our relationships, but sin gets in the way of that. God wants to forgive us for all our sins, clearing them from our record completely through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross (see Ephesians 1:4-7).
The question we have to ask ourselves is, what is my attitude toward sin? Do I hate it because of the harm it causes? Or do I excuse it and accept it in my life?
I will praise the LORD. He gives me good advice. Even at night my heart teaches me.  I keep my eyes always on the LORD. He is at my right hand. So I will always be secure.  So my heart is glad. Joy is on my tongue. My body also will be secure.  You will not leave me in the place of the dead. You will not let your faithful one rot away.  You always show me the path of life. You will fill me with joy when I am with you. You will make me happy forever at your right hand.
Psalm 16:7-11 NIrV
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord. Without you, I don’t have anything that is good.”  Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more….
Psalm 16:2, 4 NIrV
What other Gods are you chasing? Do you have the conviction that without God you don’t have anything good?
God brings us joy
LORD, you alone are everything I need. You make my life secure.  I will praise the LORD. He gives me good advice. Even at night my heart teaches me.  I keep my eyes always on the LORD. He is at my right hand. So I will always be secure.  So my heart is glad. Joy is on my tongue. My body also will be secure.  You always show me the path of life. You will fill me with joy when I am with you. You will make me happy forever at your right hand.
Psalm 16:5, 7-9, 11 NIrV
LORD, hear me, because I ask for what is right. Listen to my cry for help. Hear my prayer. It doesn’t come from lips that tell lies.  Look deep down into my heart. Study me carefully at night and test me. You won’t find anything wrong. I have planned nothing evil. My mouth has not said sinful things.  My God, I call out to you because you will answer me. Listen to me. Hear my prayer.  Show me the wonders of your great love. By using your great power, you save those who go to you for safety from their enemies.  Take good care of me, just as you would take care of your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 17:1, 3, 6-8 NIrV
I love you, LORD. You give me strength.  The LORD is my rock and my place of safety. He is the God who saves me. My God is my rock. I go to him for safety. He is like a shield to me. He’s the power that saves me. He’s my place of safety.
Psalm 18:1-2 NIrV
Do you have the conviction that God is your rock, place of safety, your shield, your guardian and protector, that God is the one who brings security and value to your life?
Do you have the conviction that if you call out to him and make room for him that your life will be blessed and that you will find joy? Have you begun to look for other things to satisfy you?