But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. – Psalm 3:3-4
It’s impossible to adequately summarize the richness and breadth contained in the book of Psalms. It was Israel’s hymnbook, containing songs of praise to God. It also contains the cries of God’s people in difficult situations. And it was a prayer book for Israel. The psalmists looked to God in moments of private despair, in times of national suffering, and in the joyous moments of mountain-top experiences.
The Psalms are for us right now, today. They are brimming with honest emotion. Through them you can learn to pour out your anguish and your adoration, your suffering and confession, your hopes and your fears. Through them you feel safe asking God why he has or hasn’t acted in a certain way. Through others you might express your pain, heartache, and discouragement. Through still others you may praise God as he frees you from oppression and sin. Each psalm is an expression of the heart. None of them are neat little packages of answers tied up with pretty bows. They are living words, a collection of spiritual diaries from people who honestly sought God’s help and His heart.
Do you need spiritual direction or encouragement? The Psalms can function as deterrents to keep you out of trouble, guides to help you through problems, reminders of the one who actually delivers you, or as beacons of hope to encourage you in perplexing or painful situations. Read the Psalms and be ushered into the very presence of your loving and merciful God. You’ll be glad you did!
– Steve Arterburn
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. – Psalm 1:1-2