When the angel appeared to her to say that she would conceive and give birth to a son and that her conception would be apart from a male agent, that the baby would have no human father, she asked, "How can this be, since I am a virgin." I say, that was a believing question. She was not doubting what the angel said, but she was perplexed over how something like that could come about. 

The devil is the great disrupter. He has brought disharmony to the universe. But God brings harmony. In these verses four great attributes of God meet together—love, faithfulness, righteousness and peace—and then like conquering generals they march side by side to a victory that is the sure and certain hope of God's people. The stanza suggests three harmonies.

Having reminded himself of God's past mercies and having prayed for a renewal of those mercies in his own day, what does the psalmist do next? He does what Habakkuk did in a nearly identical situation. He waits for God to answer (vv. 8, 9). The text says, "I will listen to what God the LORD will say."

In yesterday's reading we saw the need to reflect on past mercies. However, remembering the past does not always provide victory in the present. Therefore, in the second stanza of this gentle, perceptive psalm the writer moves to direct petition (vv. 4-7). That is, he moves to prayer. On the people's behalf, he asks God to: 1) restore us again (v. 4); and 2) revive us again (v. 6).

The place we have to start to overcome discouragement is by reflecting on the goodness of God toward us in past days (vv. 1-3). This is part of the problem, of course, because it is the unfavorable contrast between these past experiences of God's mercies and the lack of them now that has caused us to become discouraged. Yet it is part of the solution too, since it is because God is good that we have hope of recovering what we've lost.