Psalms - A Summer Devotional

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Week 9 - Imprecatory

by Laura Amburgy - Jefferson Campus 

Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips. Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.

Psalm 17:1-2

What is your first response when someone has hurt you? Do you seek vengeance? Pray? Idle by in hopes that time will heal your wounds? How we process our pain, worry, and distress matters; how we release that hurt to the Lord by asking Him to transform us and our enemies matters. Will we be humble and open to let Him?

Over and over in scripture, we see God’s people yearning for justice; pouring out their hearts in vulnerable honesty; trusting Him to make right their hurt, grief, and angst. And while I don’t think many of us will ever be chased after by enemies like David was in the Psalms, the longing for protection and justice is all the same. These Psalms, known as the Imprecatory Psalms, communicate a deep longing for justice, calling down calamity, destruction, and God’s anger and judgment on His enemies. David declared his dependence on God to protect him because he needed to see his enemy defeated by the hand of God, not by the hand of himself.

I’ve found so much comfort in these Imprecatory Psalms. They remind me that it’s okay to be raw, real, and honest with the Lord – that while the words I utter from a fresh wound may not be pretty, the Lord will take my honesty and transform my heart. The honesty of these psalms changes us. From minor offenses to gut-wrenching pain, the words of David remind us that we don’t ever have to take matters into our own hands.

So the question is, are we leaving the outcome to the Lord when we are hurt? Are we asking for God’s justice and protection over striking down our enemies? Through our suffering and angst, are we trusting the Lord will shield and transform our hearts, not only to protect us but to fall in love with His goodness and understanding deeper than before? This week, let us remind ourselves to love our enemies and rest because vindication and protection are His.

Questions to Consider

  1. Do you trust God to bring justice to your situation, even if it’s not how you imagined?
  2. What practical steps can you take to help let go of your need for justice?


Father God, thank you for your protection. Thank you for the freedom you provide in reminding me that you work all things together for my good. The hurt may cut deep, but I know you can handle it better than I can. Continue to use your Word and the support of people in my life to guide me when I want to take things into my own hands. I trust that you will make beautiful in the future what pains me today.

Going Deeper This Week

Select an Imprecatory Psalm and journal why it speaks most to your current or past hurt.

By Laura Amburgy, Jefferson Campus

Week 8 - Thanksgiving

by Sam Vavzincak - Pickerington Campus 

6 Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.

Psalm 138:6-7

Multiple times over the past few years, I have caught myself muttering the phrase, “The older I get, the more appreciative I am for my parents.” Why? Surely they are not as heavily involved in my life now as they were when I was a child. It’s been years since they’ve driven me around to countless practices, supplied me with all the groceries I needed for the week, or stayed up late at night to help take care of me while I was sick. So why am I more thankful for them now than I was when those things happened? Because as I matured and grew older, I realized that I was incapable of doing those things on my own, and my parents took care of them even though I had nothing to offer them in return.

What drives David’s thanksgiving in this psalm is the sobering realization of who he is and the recognition of just how great our God is. David recognized that God is exalted. He is above us, He is holy, He is other. Meanwhile, David is lowly when compared to an almighty God. Because David understood the vast difference between who he was and who God is, it led him to a place of thankfulness.

“I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness…” (v. 2a).

We become more thankful for the blessings that God has put in our lives when we come to realize that we are unable to attain them on our own and that we did nothing to deserve them. David experienced many victories in his life. As the youngest member of his family, he was chosen to be the next king of Israel. He famously defeated Goliath in battle. He led the nation of Israel to many military victories. Because David understood that his victories were from God and for God’s glory, he was quick to credit God when they happened. If David wasn’t intentional about spending time in prayer thanking God for making those things happen, his thankfulness could have quickly turned to pride.

What has God done in your life that only He could make happen? Maybe He placed you in the perfect workplace after a difficult time of unemployment. Maybe He provided you with a skill that consistently allows you to bless the people in your life. Maybe He has surrounded you with friends or family members that have been constant sources of His love and compassion.

And above all other things to be thankful for, we consistently fall short of God’s glory, yet God has gifted us with his unending grace. A grace that we didn’t deserve and could not attain on our own. If nothing else, that should drive us to a place of thankfulness.

Questions to Consider

  1. Is thanking God a regular part of your prayer life?
  2. What are things in your life that you tend to take credit for that you need to start crediting God for?
  3. What is a particular quality of God that you’re thankful for?
  4. What person has God put int your life that you’re thankful for?
  5. How often do you thank God for the free gift of salvation?


God, thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for the blessings in my life that I notice and for the countless blessings in my life that I am not even aware of. You are a God who extends his grace and love to all people, even though we do nothing to deserve it. Lord, I pray that you open my eyes to the various ways that you show up in my life. Help me to respond how David responded in this psalm – by bowing down and praising your name. 

Going Deeper This Week

  • Read Psalm 34 and Psalm 11
  • Before or after reading, make a list of things that you need to thank God for.

By Sam Vavzincak, Pickerington Campus

Week 7 - Royal

by Katie Boor - Pickerington Campus 

7 I will proclaim the LORD’s decree: He said to me,“You are my son; today I have become your father. 8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”  10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.11 Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 2:7-12

Royal Psalms serve as a reminder of the promise God made with David and his people – to establish the throne of God’s kingdom through the line of David forever. As we read through Psalm 2, we are reminded of the intimacy and love of God through His covenants. The Psalter reminds us of God’s promise to David in the most personal and powerful way, as family and as king. You can see the faithfulness of God and the authority of a son of God, with Solomon as king.

As a family, the psalter describes two distinct roles: the father and the child. God is responsible to guide, protect, and provide as the Father. God isn’t merely leading his people but irrevocably loving and correcting them to ensure the future of David. Additionally, the roles of the child are to ask the Father for wisdom to rule and rely on the Father for power and refuge. Solomon did this, and today we get to live out God’s kingdom on Earth as His children. You and I both have the opportunity to be the right hand of God, to lead, serve, and become coheirs. When we rule as the Lord has called us, it will allow us to glorify the Lord and will allow others to see Jesus, the perfect ruler.

As we reflect on what it means to be king and part of God’s family, we see that God rules through correction and love, and Solomon, His son, rules by serving the Lord. So it stands to reason that we will experience God’s correction. It may be uncomfortable and even evoke anger or irritation, but we need to remember that God corrects because He loves and wants what’s best for us. Correction and love are a part of the perfect way God rules as the ultimate King. When reading this psalm, I think of all the ways I am able to rule where God has placed me. To use the giftings God has given me to bring Him glory and point people back to Jesus, the King of kings. Ruling with God can happen in many ways. It can be over coffee with a friend, seeing others as family, and even pausing to remember how God has loved and led me.

But we can’t do it on our own. We live in a world where we need refuge. We need a space to rest and refuel in order to continue to rule alongside the Lord. So we ask the King how to serve Him better, we find comfort in our Father, and we work together to promote His kingdom here on Earth. And every single time, our Father, the King, hears us, sees us, and responds with love just as He promised. For that, I give all glory and honor to our Father, the King.

Questions to Consider

  1. God is our father and our king. What does it mean for both of these things to be true? How does this lead to hope?
  2. How can you better promote God’s kingdom here on Earth?
  3. When was the last time you sought refuge in the Lord and allowed Him to speak to you?


Father, when we say, “Your kingdom come,” there is so much to be grateful for. It can be a reminder of all the work you have done and the promises you have kept to make your kingdom a reality. Your kingdom is my true home; it’s where I belong. I am so grateful for your intention, guidance, protection, and wisdom as you have led me from the wilderness right next to you. I pray that you open my eyes to see how I can play my part in your kingdom here on Earth and serve you to the best of my ability. I give all the praise to you, the perfect King full of power and love. Please be with me as I continue to be more like you.

Going Deeper This Week

  • Read 2 Samuel 7:12-16 – Davidic Covenant
  • Read Psalm 110

By Katie Boor, Pickerington Campus

Week 6 - Hymn

by Shannon Cook - Pickerington Campus 

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100

As a kid, I remember my Sunday school teacher challenging us to memorize this Psalm. I remember feeling like it was really long, but as I’ve encountered it over the years, it’s clearly one of the shortest. In fact, it’s the sixth shortest Psalm. I’ve always assumed that’s why my Sunday school teacher chose it for us to memorize, but it’s more than that. This tiny but mighty Psalm has so much to offer. It starts with a call to “Shout for joy to the Lord” -not utter, or mumble, or even declare. No, we are to shout for joy to the Lord. The English Standard Version says, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord.” And who should do this? All the earth. Everything that has breath should praise the Lord. And why? Because He made us, and we are His. He leads us like a shepherd. And when we approach Him, it should be with thanksgiving because He is good, and His love endures forever.

Most of my shouting happens at my kids’ sporting events. I’ve even been a little hoarse after a weekend tournament or swim meet. But I rarely lose my voice from shouting to the Lord. But there’s something freeing about a good shout. It makes you feel excited and alive. There’s adrenaline involved. Shouting to the Lord is praise without holding anything back. It’s truly a “joyful noise.” I’ve always heard people use the term “joyful noise” when talking about a person who sings off-key. But it’s kind of true. God doesn’t care about how pretty the shout is. If He did, He would have made everyone great singers. He cares about the joy we bring to our shouts to Him.

These shouts aren’t false. They’re not put on for others to see because God has proven Himself time and time again to be praiseworthy. We are His. We belong to Him, and He loves us like a shepherd loves his sheep. God is good, and He never changes. We can trust in His goodness today, tomorrow, and every day we have breath to praise Him.

So, let’s do that. Let’s use our breath to praise the Lord. Let’s not waste it on grumbling or complaints. Let’s use it to shout to the Lord with gladness and joyful songs. He is the only one worthy of our praise.

Questions to Consider

  1. In what ways has God proven His goodness to you in the past?
  2. Outside of corporate worship, do you routinely spend time praising God?
  3. What circumstance is keeping you from trusting in God’s goodness?


You are good and worthy of my praise. I want to use my voice to shout your praises because I am yours and your love endures forever. I will bring a joyful noise to you, God because it reminds me of who you are.

Going Deeper

  • Read all of Psalms 96
  • Read all of Psalm 145

By Shannon Cook, Pickerington Campus

Week 5 - Remembrance

by Andrew Johnson - The Chapel 

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.

Psalm 77:11-12

Asaph was having a really bad night. Something major was troubling him. We aren’t told what it was, but he had tried everything to alleviate his distress: he cried out to God for help; he begged God to listen to him; he stretched out his hands to God for help; he even remembered all of the good things that God had done for him in the past.

Asaph is checking all of the boxes. He is doing exactly what your pastor would recommend you do when you are in distress: reach out to God; remember how He has gotten you through tough situations before; remember how He was even able to solve the biggest problem you had in life—your sin—by sending Jesus to die in your place. Asaph reached out to the only one who was able to help.

The problem was none of this helped. His night got worse. In fact, he started to think that maybe God was part of the problem.

“I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” (v3-9)

The Psalms are full of what are known as “Psalms of Remembrance.” These are passages that show how important it is to remember God’s past goodness as a means of anticipating His goodness to come. God never changes, and His goodness never fails. Remembering what He has done in the past is important as we face today’s challenges.

In your life, you can probably look back and recognize times when God showed up in a major way. It could be that He gave you the wisdom you needed to navigate a situation or a time when He provided for your financial needs. For Asaph, he remembered when God delivered Israel from Egypt. God had stepped up in their time of need and shown His power and goodness.

So why didn’t this make Asaph feel better? Why were all the spiritual prescriptions failing him? His issue was that he wasn’t remembering correctly. He was using the memory of God’s former goodness to create a sense of the “good old days” that made him question if God was still working. Remembering God’s goodness needs to do more than bring about feelings of nostalgia and a longing for the past; it needs to remind us of what God is capable of. Asaph turns a corner in the middle of the Psalm and is able to use his memories to spur an anticipation of God’s future goodness.

As you are navigating trying times in your life, it is important to look back and remember all that God has done. He has come through for you in the past. He has fulfilled His promises. Don’t let these memories feed a false feeling of abandonment—instead, make them bring about an anticipation of deliverance.

Questions to Consider

  1. What has God done in your past that proves His goodness? List as many as you can.
  2. How can you properly use those memories to shape your view of your present or future trials?
  3. How can you practically fight against a longing for the past and shift to an anticipation of God’s future goodness?


God, You have never failed to take care of me in the past. Even when I couldn’t tell you were working, you were with me. Thank you for how you have promised to always take care of me and help me to anticipate your future goodness. Amen.

Going Deeper

  • Read all of Psalms 105
  • Read all of Psalm 106

By Andrew Johnson, The Chapel

Week 4 - Lament

by Jillian Walters - Jefferson Campus 

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 17 Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. 18 Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. 19 See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me! 20 Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 21May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.

Psalm 25:16-21

Often, the times we rely on, call out, and feel a need for God the most are in times of trouble and distress. The psalms of lament do just that. They are pleas for help, guidance, and for God to simply show that he hears us. Sometimes they are individual cries for help, and other times they are communal, addressing the needs of the world or a group. The beauty of the psalms of lament, though, is that each begins with crying out in a time of desperate need and ends with a recognition that whether God answers as we desire or not, He is there, He is in control, and the writer trusts Him.

We can read the psalm above and connect to one or all parts of it. We’ve felt unseen, punished, lonely, afflicted, troubled. We’ve despised ourselves for our own sinful nature or felt attacked by people or the enemy. If you can say none of this is relatable, praise the LORD! (Go back to week two and spend some time praising!) But in reality, most, if not all of us, can remember a time of extreme distress or grief, and those are the times we’ve been at a loss. For some, that was the moment we finally succumbed to the reality that God was in control, not us, and we needed Him desperately. I thank God for those moments (though I don’t want to relive them) because they’ve proven to be beautiful moments of surrender. They were moments when I called out in desperation, fell to my knees, called on fellow prayer warriors, or simply hid myself in Him. He alone became my refuge.

In some moments of his life, David surrendered, but in others, he did what we are all tempted to do: he went to the Lord, called out, then took things back into his own hands. But note the beauty of the end of this particular style of psalm: “…my hope, Lord, is in you.” This final line isn’t just a signature line; it’s trust. If you miss it, you’re missing the difference between a faithful response to trials and an unfaithful one. Someone who lacks faith complains, sometimes to people and sometimes to God – why is God punishing me, why am I alone, help me- and if God doesn’t answer right away or in the way the person imagines, they doubt God, His provision, and His intent. But a faithful follower calls out to God, listing his fears, worries, regrets, or grief, and if God answers, it builds his faith, and if God DOESN’T answer, it builds his faith.

You read that correctly; no matter God’s response, a faithful Christian still trusts, and his faith is not diminished when God’s answer is no, not yet, or never. He doesn’t turn away from God or God’s people, but instead, he continues to bring his pleas to the Lord, trusting that if and when and how God answers, it is for a plan grander than we might understand, but not beyond the understanding of God.

So, brother or sister, keep turning to God! Keep praying, keep begging, keep confessing, keep wondering. God is the ONLY one who has the answers, and He may not share the solution right away, but if you walk in obedience despite not knowing, you’ll experience the fullness of joy that comes from life with Him, even amongst the trials.

Questions to Consider

When confronted with making a wise decision, ask yourself:
  1. When you experience troubles, where do you turn FIRST? If it is God, do you continue to rely on Him, or do you grasp to regain control? If it isn’t God, why do you turn there instead of to God? What are the benefits and downfalls of turning there instead?
  2. How do you know if you truly trust God with the outcomes of your prayers?
  3. Reflect on a time when you remained obedient amidst a trial. Contrast it with a time you chose your own path or sought comfort outside the Lord. What can you learn from each of those experiences to inform your future decisions?


Lord Almighty, you know my every wound, hurt, question, and confusion. You’ve collected my tears in a jar, and you see my brokenness and long for me to submit it to you. Healer, bind up my wounds, shield me from attacks from the enemy, whisper truths in my ear about who I am and whose I am. When my feet, mind, or heart go astray, correct my course. When one wave sweeps my feet from under me, and the rest keep pummeling me under, thrust your hand in the water, grab mine, and drag me out of the depths. Remind me that when I try to do it alone, I will run out, but with you Lord, I can walk in obedience, love, and trust every day of my life. Remind me that YOU alone are in charge, you alone are called to judge, and you are righteous in every way. Amen.

Going Deeper This Week

Read all of Psalms 25 and 56

By Jillian Walters, Jefferson Campus

Week 3 - Wisdom

by Michael Martin, Grace Elder - Pickerington Campus 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

Psalm 111:10

The lack of wisdom in society is hard to ignore. The Psalms help us understand the root cause of all the foolishness. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and the fear of the Lord is lacking – not only lacking in the world but also often lacking within ourselves. Our capacity for being wise starts with fearing God.

In Matthew 10, Jesus says, “…be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Understanding that sin earns us the wrath of God should strike “the fear of the Lord” in us all – because we are all sinners. Believing that Jesus Christ is our only hope to be rescued from this situation should quickly make us realize that Christ Himself is wisdom. Psalm 145:18-19 proclaims, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries and saves them.”

If you have never cried out to God for Him to save you, cry out to God now! Admit that you are a sinner and repent. Believe that God came into the world and He is Jesus Christ. Trust that Christ paid the penalty for your sins and took God’s wrath in your place. Believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Trust in Jesus alone for your eternal life and be saved. This is the only wise answer.

When we have faith in Christ and are therefore saved, the fear of the Lord shifts focus away from fearing God’s wrath to giving God the respect He is due. It realizes that God’s earthly discipline often results from living foolishly. He disciplines as a loving father disciplines his children. This fear of the Lord allows us to be wise in how we live as His children.

Life confronts us with situations when we must ask ourselves, “What should I do?” Or, “I know what to do, but I lack wisdom in how to proceed.” Perhaps you are wrestling with these questions today. Psalm 111:10 helps us know how to proceed. “…all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.” When life confronts us with, “what should I do?” The answer is to do what God says to do and give Him praise. Doing what God says requires knowing God’s precepts say – which means knowing what the Bible says.

The Bible says in James 1 we should ask God for wisdom. For years I have prayed almost daily, “God, give me the wisdom to see clearly into situations and the courage to do what needs to be done.” I trust this persistent asking has resulted in God intervening to help me make some wise decisions along the way.

James 3 gives precepts that help us press a decision through the truth of God’s wisdom, so we can be wise in what we choose and how we live.  James reminds us that “bitter envy” and “selfish ambition” will not result in Godly wisdom. Making decisions out of these motives is foolishness, and is from the devil. James explains that the nature of Godly wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. Wise decisions and living wisely produces those results.

Questions to Consider

When confronted with making a wise decision, ask yourself:
  1. Do I fear God?
  2. Have I asked God for wisdom?
  3. Are my motives envy and selfish ambition?
  4. Will this decision align with the Godly wisdom as outlined by James?


God, give me the wisdom to see clearly into the truth of situations and the courage to do what needs to be done. Help me understand the true nature of my motives as I make decisions. Guide me to conclusions and actions which produce the fruit of Godly wisdom.

Going Deeper This Week

  1. James 1:2-8
  2. James 3:13-18
  3. Psalm 36:1-4
  4. 1 Corinthians 1:20-31

By Michael Martin, Pickerington Campus

Week 2 - Praise

by Sarah McClellan - Pickerington Campus 

I love you, Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.

Psalm 18:1-4

Do you praise God?

When you do, Is it a, “Hey God, thanks for the safe travels” or “Hey God, thanks for this day” (and then you enter into that day not giving God another thought until you’re stuck in traffic, and you’re praying you don’t lose your mind on the person puttering in front of you)?

Or do you take the time to rightly praise God?

Throughout the book of Psalms, we see King David face a myriad of life events. He gets chased from his home by his earthly king, whom he loved and served with his life. That same king hunted David like a fugitive and tried to kill him. His best friend died. He gained his wife by having her first husband murdered, and as a result, he taints his family so badly that his son tries to overthrow him (amidst several other cruelties within the family). Yet David, in his misery, fear, frustration, and rage, PRAISES God. We frequently see David rant about what he’s encountering, wondering when justice will be served and he’ll be safe, and then we see “but….” Those three magical letters morph David’s situation into something else entirely – a praise to God. David allows himself to wallow in his pit of despair, BUT we always see him right his heart and praise His creator, sustainer, healer, and protector.

So again, do you praise God?

So often, we can forget, especially if we’re long-time Christians, that God created the universe! He knit us together in our mother’s womb. He knows every hair on our heads. He knows and cares about what’s in our hearts – the good, bad, and ugly. He created the sun and moon so that Earth is perfectly affected by the two. He designed the oceans so that they’re appropriately affected by the gravitational pull of the moon. He designed our bodies so that every cell and molecule works together to allow us to function. God did all of this, yet He still desires a relationship with you and me. What the actual heck?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

So today and throughout your summer, insert “but” moments and praise God. Take the extra breath or minute and selah. Take in something that’s often mundane and recognize your Creator and Sustainer in that.

Questions to Consider

  1. Do you praise God? If so, when? If not, why?

  2. Where does life have you in a “pit of despair” or holding steady? How will you praise God in that?

  3. What is your default with God? Do you consistently ask without listening? Do you lament and complain? What would it look like to switch your script and feel the feels BUT then praise God?


God, my God, you are strong, mighty, the beginning and the end. You sit in dominion over ALL of creation, yet you pursue me and love me. No matter how many times I turn from you, mess up, sin…you call to me. Who am I that you want a relationship with me? But you made me, and you call me Lord. Thank you. Today and all the days of my life, I desire to praise you, to remember the “but” no matter my circumstances, for you God, are good. Lead me to “selah” this summer, in all the situations I find myself, and praise you.

Going Deeper This Week

  1. Read all of Psalms 18.
  2. Select your own praise Psalm and process through why it speaks to you.

By Sarah McClellan, Pickerington Campus

Week 1 - What is a Psalm?

by Tyler Piatt - The Chapel Campus 

1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditate on his law day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2

The book of Psalms: a collection of 150 ancient Hebrew poems, songs, and prayers. In the simplest terms, it’s a book of worship. Not a worn hymnal you’d pull from the back of a wooden pew, but a book of collected authors’ deepest expressions toward God in profound ways. Although King David does produce the bulk of writing in the Psalms, various chapters are attributed to different authors across different time periods. From categories such as thanks and praise to wisdom and lament, the whole spectrum of human emotions and experiences are found within this book. It’s a BIG work of literature, and yet it’s sharp enough to speak to all of us in the smallest and most detailed, personal ways.

Thankfully, the first couple of chapters in Psalms thematically frames the rest of its content to come by describing a couple blessings. In the beginning of the first chapter (seen above), the writer explains that blessing isn’t found in the typical ways of the world but rather in finding great joy being in God’s Word. You meditate on it, study it, and take your time. There’s no rush in gaining the lens God’s trying to give you to understand how to live life abundantly. It’s a slow drip. When you jump to the end of the second chapter, you’ll find that the author poetically reveals a second blessing for those that take refuge in their messiah. Against all that goes on in our broken world, our messiah is the proper resting place when we need to regather ourselves. But what do these two blessings put together mean for the importance of this book of the Bible? Reading the Psalms gives us comfort in knowing we don’t need to ignore our present experiences, but we don’t ever let them stop us from looking forward to what God has for our future.

The Psalms are encouraging because following Jesus isn’t an escape from our feelings or circumstances but an ever-present hope in the middle of them. I’ve always been encouraged by the Psalms because they remind me I’m not alone in what I’m going through. These ancient authors felt and processed the same raw things of life that we do today. The Bible doesn’t ignore our feelings or sweep life’s highs and lows under the rug. It correctly defines, equips, and leads us in how we are to process them.

So the question is, how well are you processing life? How often are you using Scripture as the proper lens to look through? Is your Messiah anywhere present at the finish line you’re running after? When we’re not sure what to do in life, it’s easy for us to either ignore our feelings or be completely controlled by them. It’s tempting to give up on taking the time to develop the correct lens to view life’s circumstances. The Psalms offer a buffet to those hungry to see how scripture might change their hearts and minds, but we have to pull up a seat to the table and eat. So this week, find and implement a few ways to add further delight to your time with God and a deeper hope in Christ’s promises for your future.

Questions To Consider

  1. Is it easier or harder for you to delight in God’s word? What’s something you could implement this week to make it more of a delight?
  2. What’s a Psalm that can regularly stir hope in you? If you have one, spend time reading over it again this week. If you can’t think of one, spend some time finding one that’s encouraging to you. There’s PLENTY to choose from!
  3. When do you try to either escape or ignore your feelings and circumstances? What feelings seem to control you at times? How can Scripture change your perspective in all of these things?
  4. What practical disciplines can you implement in your life to be more present in your current circumstance and more hopeful of the future? 
  5. How often do you take the time to process deep goals, needs, and desires in your life with God? Is there anything keeping you from making this a regular rhythm? If so, why?


God, I am reminded that you have not cursed us with the human experience, but blessed us with it. Stir in me more than just the discipline of handling your word, but the delight of time in your scriptures. I pray that delight would have a deep impact on how I process experiences today and how I think about tomorrow. Provide in me a better awareness of my present circumstances and a renewed hope for what you’ve set in my future.

Going Deeper This Week

  1. Read all of Psalms 1 and 2.
  2. Read 2 Samuel 7 and review its poetic connections to Psalms 2.

By Tyler Piatt, The Chapel Campus