A “quiet time” is simply being intentional about having a conversation with God. This usually means listening for God’s voice by reading the Bible or devotions, and speaking to God through prayer. Jesus did this numerous times in the Gospels, sometimes slipping away all night or in the early morning, to spend time with his Father.
Here are some well-respected reading plans that can help you plan this time, they all come with mobile optimised options so you can even take them with you as you travel to work.
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‘Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then have nothing else to fear’ (N Brady and N Tate, 1696). Reflect on what fearing God means for you. Does it banish other fears?
Of David.1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident. 4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD. 7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me. 8 My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior. 10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me. 11 Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence. 13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
It’s one thing to rejoice in God in the good times, when the sun is shining, and everything is harmonious. It’s quite another to remain steady when under threat; being accused and feeling abandoned by those closest to you.
David somehow manages to keep his head, calling his listeners to patient waiting and resilience (v 14). He does it by keeping his heart fixed on the Lord (v 8). The temptation is to look elsewhere; to the threat posed by wicked people (v 2); to war waged against him (v 3); to possible breakdown of relationships (v 10).
God is our light
These could all, understandably, be causes for deep anxiety and for throwing in the towel. It’s not all water off a duck’s back to David. He feels the strain, crying to the Lord not to forsake him (v 9). But as he faces up to all the potential pitfalls, he reminds himself at every turn that ‘the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world’ (1 John 4:4).
Fear is bred in the darkness but God is David’s light. Snarling evil contrasts with the Lord’s beauty. The Lord’s goodness overwhelms all malice. Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ (Romans 8:35). So, hang on in there.Andy Bathgate
Fear of others and of the future dictates much of our lives. What can you do to get these fears into perspective for yourself and others?
When the world seems to be crashing down around us, in what or in whom do we trust? David, the psalmist and leader, is battle-ready. He resolutely puts his faith in God, thus encouraging others to follow his example. The psalm expresses David’s confidence in God, leading him to prayer and praise.
In spite of the threats to his life and well-being, David rehearses what he knows about God: the Lord himself is a place of safety (v 1). David doesn’t look to his own resources. Instead, his words disclose a man who knows God and has experienced him as a refuge from trouble. In the face of worrying circumstances, his ‘heart’ (indicating his whole, essential self) is focused on God (v 3). Who needs to be afraid when God is on your side (whatever happens)? The prayer expresses David’s continuing longing for God and his trust in him (v 4). Maybe, this was a day of trouble (v 5). If so, David knows that he is safe in God’s hands. His meditation and resulting assurance from God lead him to a renewed offering of himself to the Lord, to prayer and praise (v 6).
The tone of the psalm changes at verse 7,1 becoming more urgent with the repeated plea ‘Do not … Do not … Do not …’ (vs 9–12). Desperately seeking God, David’s anxiety is clear, but he still deliberately trusts himself to God’s care and asks for his guidance (v 11). Despite the distractions, David wants to act in line with God’s will (v 11). Out of adversity comes a sense of renewed confidence which leads to a quiet patience. Now, he has strength to ‘wait for the Lord’ (v 14). Whatever troubles you face today, take time to seek the Lord and rest in him.
1 Tremper Longman III and David E Garland, eds, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms, Revised Edition, Zondervan, 2008Emlyn and 'Tricia Williams
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