Struggling? Try baring your soul in a psalm | Worship
The Bible is made up of 66 Books. Some are long; some are short. Some are letters written to people or churches, some are prophetic, some are historical, and some are poetic.
The Book of Psalms is a collection of 150 poems or lyrics to songs. They are compiled into five books written over about a 500-year time span and by a number of different people. Each psalm is a piece of creative writing, with a style unique to each author.
King David wrote 73 of these psalms. At the time, David feared for his life. He had been working for the current king, Saul. Saul had heard that God had anointed David to be the next king and was beyond furious. His jealousy consumed him to the point of pursuing David and his men to kill them all.
David wrote many of his psalms during this time of intense emotion. When we first start out to study them, we begin to relate to his pain and anguish. He pours out his heart to God to be saved from death. He bluntly cries out to God of his despair, and then calls on him for help – usually very specific help.
At that point, an interesting twist occurs: David remembers God’s faithfulness. David, facing death, remembers God is above all; God rules over the whole universe.
God’s Holy Spirit pours the Father’s love into his heart. David’s remembrance of who God is triggers praise as he looks beyond his circumstances to the living Lord of Lords. David’s attitude changes, and he rests, knowing that God is God of all.
As you read through the psalms of David, you realize that many of them utilize this set of common elements in their structure. Since the Bible was given to us for our benefit, we can learn from David at those times we experience significant pain.
First, don’t be afraid to pour out your heart to God. Let it all out, raw and uncensored. That’s what David did. God knows what you’re going through, and he loves you. He’s not going to condemn you for being honest about your feelings.
Second, ask God for help. When you do that, you are giving God your permission to work on your behalf. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? God wants us to come to him. He wants us to want him, but he doesn’t force himself on anyone. That’s the whole free will thing.
Endeavor to refrain from telling him how to save you. God is so creative in his answers to prayer and in his perfect timing. Let him do it his way.
Third, take some time to remind yourself of God’s care. It’s kind of like you calling into your soul, “Hey, wake up! God is still God, he still loves you, and he’s not going to let you go.” This is a turning point in your perception of the problem. God is above all, and nothing is too difficult for him.
Finally, with your soul quieted, it’s not that hard a jump to praise. Lean back into God’s arms and thank him, praise him, for that fully immersive love that covers you like cool water on a hot day.
As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Rome, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
If you are struggling today, try writing your own psalm. We did. Pour out your heart to God. He gets it. He knows every hair on your head, and he loves you more than you know.
Don Saul is the senior pastor of Jericho Bridge Church. The non-denominational church meets at Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave. in Mukilteo. For more information, visit www.jerichobridge.org.