The invention of the snooze button tells you a lot about how we feel about mornings. The alarm rings, we know we need to get up, but we want a little more sleep, so we hit the snooze button to silence the alarm for nine precious minutes before it wakes us up again.
Mornings mean the routine starts again. It’s another day, another to-do list, and another schedule filled with stressors, from work-related conflict, to financial challenges, to family issues. These daily challenges wait for us to rise out of the peaceful dream state and re-enter the grueling reality of this world.
We hate mornings. We hate Mondays. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
My daily Bible reading brought me to Psalm 5 today, and in it, verse 3, which says, “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice, in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.”
These words, penned by King David under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, were convicting to me. I do not always enjoy mornings. Many times, I have hit the snooze button to the point where my morning routine is rushed. In these times, I fail to pray, give God glory, and appreciate the blessing of another day.
Then, I read the words of David. “In the morning you hear my voice, in the morning, I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.”
Prayer was important to David. He prayed relentlessly, and continually praised and worshiped God. The picture he paints in Psalm 5:3 is one of waking up early, selecting the lamb for sacrifice, conducting the sacrifice, praying to the Lord, watching the sun rise, and then watching to see how the Lord blesses the day.
The entire process oriented the day around the Lord, and thus David enjoyed peace in the Lord despite the turmoil and stresses that come with being king.
Life is hard, and stress is part of the package. We can either rise up reluctantly in the morning, curse our fate, and trudge through the daily battles, or we can rise up early, give God His glory, and watch for Him to do amazing things throughout the day.
The lesson we learn from David is one to be well received. We will enjoy more peace and joy if we learn to prepare God’s sacrifice of prayer and praise in the mornings. May the Lord help us to begin each day in gratitude toward Him, and may He give us the energy to rise up in plenty of time to worship Him, and to rely less on the snooze button.
–Pastor Leland Acker has pastored Life Point since its inception in 2008. He is a longtime morning radio personality, former hospice chaplain, and financial services advisor.
Let’s face it. Sometimes we just need to hit the “pause” button on life, and get away. Whether our escape is hopping a flight to LA for the weekend, engrossing ourselves in a good book, or an evening of Netflix, our need to escape the pain of life is real.
Unfortunately, our retreat into a good book, movie, or even a road trip often amounts to little more than a temporary distraction from what truly bothers us. While we have temporarily redirected our minds, we have not truly escaped what ails us. Hence, when the book is finished, when the movie ends, and when the road trip is over, we once again find ourselves discouraged by our present situation.
You see, when books, Netflix and travel are our escapes, we never truly take refuge. We merely trick our minds into ignoring our problems for a few hours. The peace and happiness we feel during that time is not real, and we will soon be hit by reality again.
So, what can we do? Where can we truly turn when we need refuge from the trials and tribulations we face on a daily basis?
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
A refuge is more powerful than a distraction. A refuge offers real protection and escape from a problem. If you truly want to escape from and solve a problem, scripture says there’s one place you can turn. The Lord.
The Lord is our refuge. The Lord offers us true escape from the problems we face. All too often, we forfeit the true peace God can offer us by turning to mere distractions instead. God offers true deliverance from life’s problems, and He offers the strength to endure them. To learn more about obtaining peace from God, listen to Pastor Leland Acker’s sermon below:
In today’s message, Pastor Leland Acker discusses how David depended on God’s deliverance through the worst times, and how we can draw strength, comfort and deliverance from God today. For more, listen to the message posted above, and check out “When Life’s Out to Crush You.”
Are you stressed? You’re not alone.
Survey data reported by Vox, the Times of Israel, Gallup, and Pew reports that Americans, as well as people around the world, are becoming increasingly unhappy and stressed.
Why are so many people unhappy? It’s hard to tell. There are more theories on the rising discontentment in the world than there are sources reporting it.
The fact is that in today’s world, stresses are piling up and problems are multiplying. Bills, health problems, family problems, work problems, social problems, so on and so forth. So, you go online to escape reality for a moment, and story after story is posted about some politician who is intent on destroying America as we know it.
Spend enough time in this situation, and you’ll start to feel hopeless, like the obstacles are too much to overcome, and there is no escape.
Such was the case for King David when he wrote Psalm 3. He had fled from Absalom his son, who had overthrown his government, and was chasing him down to execute him.
David had lost his kingdom, his home, the military, his family, his wealth, everything. He was fleeing to the wilderness where there would be little food or water, and safety would be hard to find. However, the hopeless wilderness was his only option.
People turned against him. His enemies far outnumbered his friends, and many of his friends were throwing in the towel. It was hopeless.
Yet, in Psalm 3:3-4, David wrote, “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.”
David knew His only true friend, and the only One that could help him was God, and he trusted God. So, he cried out to God, and God heard him. Thus, in Psalm 3:5, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked, for the LORD sustained me.”
Knowing that he was in God’s hands, David slept. What faith that showed! To be able to step away from his daily struggle and rest. It showed that David understood that God was in control, and that God held him in the palm of His hand.
That faith was validated the next day when David awoke. He awoke, because God sustained him.
Life may be crushing you right now, and you may be struggling to keep your head above water. Yet, the Lord never intended for you to continue the struggle on your own. He loves you, and cares for you. So, be like David. Trust God. Call out to God. Then rest, and trust Him to take care of that which you cannot control. You will find that He will sustain you.
The physical application of Psalm 3:5 is that we should trust the Lord, knowing that He will sustain us. However, there is a Spiritual application as well.
So many of us are struggling with our Spirituality. We doubt whether we will enter God’s Kingdom when we die. Is it possible for a man to know that He is saved? Is it possible to know for sure that you will go to Heaven when you die?
These questions being unanswered for many, some stress out, trying to follow religion to the “T” hoping to be good enough to go to Heaven when they die. Others reject the Lord altogether out of frustration. Both approaches are equally wrong.
Psalm 3:8 says “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.”
We don’t determine whether we get into Heaven, God does, hence John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
There is nothing that we can do in and of ourselves to warrant our entrance into Heaven. God determines who gets in and who doesn’t. But praise be to God, He told us how He will make that determination, so that we can have blessed assurance. In John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
All God wants us to do is to believe on the name of Jesus, to trust Him for salvation, and by doing so turning away from sin. Repent, and believe. And the repenting is inherent in the belief. By trusting Jesus Christ as your savior, you confess that you are a sinner, that the sin is bad, and you have set your mind to be rescued from it. Once you have done that, the Lord wants you to rest… not work to get into heaven, but rather to trust Him for that salvation, then spend your time on this Earth glorifying Him for the salvation He freely gave you.
Hence, you lay down, you sleep, you awake, for the Lord sustains you. Also, Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Furthermore, the Lord sustains you… so He keeps you saved. You never have to worry about losing that salvation.
Finally, there is a future application of Psalm 3:5, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked, for the LORD sustained me.”
The day is coming when we will close our eyes one last time in this life. We will close our eyes in death, as the Bible says, we will sleep. Yet, as we close our eyes in death, we will turn right around and open them to eternal life, because the Lord will raise us up and receive us into His Kingdom, if you know Him as Savior.
We will lay down and sleep, we will awake, for the Lord will sustain us.
All of this possible, because the Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life on the cross, was buried, then rose again the third day, because God resurrected Him.
God’s eternal plan for you is to bring you into His Kingdom, where you can live forever in His presence and glory. Everything He does in your life prepares you for that day. Will you trust Him? Are you looking forward to that day?
Knowing these things will not only comfort us during stressful times, but will also help us put the stress into perspective. May God bless you as you continue to follow Him.