Introduction: If I asked you, “What is the greatest challenge to
your peace of mind,” what would you say? Would it be a relationship
problem? Someone is not following the “rules” of kind and loving
behavior? Would it be a lack of money? How about a concern about
health? A concern over your job? Have you considered what nature has
to teach us about those things that disturb our peace and cause us
worry? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and see what we can
learn about this!

  1. Nature and Order

    1. Read Psalms 19:1-2. Is this true? If so, how is it true?
      (It is true. When we look at the vast heavens around us,
      and learn that the heavens operate in a reliable and
      perfect order, the only reasonable conclusion is that
      some amazing Intellect is responsible.)

    2. Read Psalms 19:3-4. What human can claim ignorance of the
      heavens above us? (The basic message of the heavens can
      be understood by everyone – although the full message of
      the heavens is not fully understood by anyone. If you
      doubt this, do a little research on “dark matter.”)

    3. Read Psalms 19:5-6. What is one of the most basic, easily
      understood messages in the heavens about God’s
      personality? (He is orderly. Our times are reliable. The
      movement of the earth in relation to the sun sets the
      most basic order of our lives.)

    4. Our lesson is supposed to be about health, and especially
      emotional health. What does the message of the heavens
      have to do with your emotional health?

      1. What causes you the most fear? (Facing the unknown?
        Uncertainty? Imagine what your life would be like if
        there was no order or certainty to the length of the
        day, night or the regulation of time.)

    5. Read Psalms 19:7. The Psalmist goes directly from a
      discussion of the movement of the heavens to a discussion
      of God’s law. What logic is there in connecting the two?
      (If God has laws which govern the heavens and provide
      basic order to our universe and our environment, it is
      logical that God would have laws regarding how we should

      1. Notice the Bible says that this order “revives” our
        soul. What application does this have to our mental
        health, if any? (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown
        Commentary says “The law of God is a reviving
        cordial [something that invigorates the heart] to
        believers.” The Commentary bolsters this reading by
        citing Psalms 23:2-3.)

      2. Let’s read Psalms 23:2-3. Do you see a
        connection between Psalms 19:7 and Psalms 23:2-3? (Yes! Just as God’s law brings order to the
        universe at large, so His law brings order to
        my life.)

      3. When you have operated outside God’s law, what
        happened to the order in your life?

        1. What happened to your level of stress?

      4. Look again at Psalms 23:2-3. Is God giving
        direction in these verses? (Yes. “He makes me
        lie down …. He guides me.”)

        1. When you think of green pastures and quiet
          waters, does that give you feelings of
          peace and tranquility? (The lesson from
          nature is that following in the path of
          God’s law restores our mental health.)

    6. Let’s go back to Psalms 19: 7. This verse also says
      that God’s law makes even simple people wise. Would
      you rather be smart or dumb?

      1. Why? (We generally think that life is easier
        for smart people.)

      2. What mental health advantage is suggested by
        this? (If you obey God’s law, you don’t have to
        be born smart to enjoy the advantages of being

  2. Read Psalms 19:8. Have you ever experienced joy by
    following God’s law? Have you ever experienced sadness
    and gloom by not following God’s law?

    1. This morning I took my customary walk on the beach.
      What caught my attention was the brightness of the
      sun. Think about standing in a bright sun on the
      beach. How do you feel? (Light lifts my spirits.
      When I travel to America’s largest cities, I never
      like New York or Chicago. I always like Los Angeles.
      Why? One big factor is that I associate Los Angeles
      with bright light. (Yes, I know about the smog!))

      1. Is the level of the light what the second half
        of verse 8 is about? (The major point is that
        God’s law helps us to better see the right path
        to take in life. The light metaphor presents a
        combination of righteousness and joy.)

  3. What is the overarching lesson from what we have studied
    of Psalms 19? (Our God believes in order. If we seek to
    follow His rules we help protect ourselves from worry and
    open the door to joy.)

  • Nature and Trust

    1. Read Matthew 6:25-27 and Luke 12:18-20. Is there a lesson
      here about barns (and banks)?

      1. Did this farmer have a future “bird’s life” in mind
        – where he did not have to work?

        1. Have you ever watched birds? Are they always
          (or often) working for food? (The sea birds I
          see are always looking for food.)

      2. How should we understand Jesus’ words with regard to
        nature (birds) and our mental health? (The lesson is
        not about how we prepare for the future (by savings
        (barns) or continued work) the lesson is that
        whatever we do, we need to trust God and look to
        advance His kingdom.)

    2. Read Matthew 6:28-30 and 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Jesus says
      the lilies “do not labor” as a positive point. Paul
      teaches that those who do not work should not eat.
      Assuming that the Bible does not contradict itself, what
      is Jesus saying? (The splendor of the lily is not due to
      its labor.)

      1. What is the practical lesson from nature for our
        mental health? (We need to work. We need to have a
        productive life. But, God’s care for us is not
        dependent upon the nature of our work.)

    3. In the first section we decided that following God’s laws
      tended to protect us from those things that would cause
      us to worry. In this section we find that our work does
      not have a direct relationship to our well-being. Are
      these two conclusions in conflict? (No. Life is better if
      we obey God. We know, however, from experience (and
      reading the book of Job) that obedience (work) does not
      always keep us safe from terrible things. Thus the
      reasonable conclusion from nature is that we must trust
      God. We must trust Him that His law is the best way to
      live. We must trust Him that He will ultimately save us
      from trouble.)

  • Nature and Praise

    1. Read Psalms 104:1-5. Did you notice the references to
      nature in this reading? Is the Psalmist talking about
      order here, or is he discussing another topic? (He is
      discussing the Creation. This involves order, but more
      importantly it shows the glory of God.)

    2. Scan Psalms 104:6-32 and Read Psalms 104:33-34. What is
      the result of meditating on God’s creation? (We sing
      praises to God.)

    3. Read Revelation 4:6-8. When you get to heaven, would you
      like this job? (I used to think “I hope I don’t get that
      job!” But now I’ve changed my mind. Have you ever really
      praised God? Have you sung praises to God and found that
      your spirit was lifted? Heartfelt praise to God creates
      the most enjoyable time.)

      1. How will praising God impact your mental health? (It
        is an antidote to depression, fear and worry. The
        Bible teaches us that nature is a trigger for
        praising God.)

    4. Last week I noticed a statement in Christianity Today
      which said that when we praise God, we join in the
      activity of the universe!

    5. Friend, nature declares our God, His power and His order.
      This gives us confidence to trust in His care and power,
      and a reason to follow His laws. No longer do we have to
      rely on our weak and fumbling efforts. Seeing all this,
      our natural emotion is to praise Him. Will you decide
      today to trust God? Will you turn from worry and turn to

  • Next week: Partnership With Jesus.