The Reassurance of the Psalms

You know, a place where we can see some real need and some real reassurance expressed is in the Psalms. For some reason this week, Psalm 38 and 39 were really talking to me. The Psalms give us so much freedom to just BE REAL. To be honest about how we are really doing with God.

Take a look at Psalm 38 – this is in verse 9 to 10, “Lord, all that I long for is known to you, my sighing is no secret from you; my heart is throbbing, my strength deserting me, the light of my eyes itself has left me.”

Dang. This is bad. It goes on like this for a while, too – and then look at the end of the Psalm – verse 21, “Lord, do not desert me, do not stand aside, my God./Come quickly to my help, Lord, my savior.” That’s it. That’s the end of the Psalm. Notice that it does not end by saying, Thank you Lord for coming! There ARE Psalms that end like this, but not this one.

It’s the same with Psalm 39, too – look at the end of that one – at verse 12, “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for help, do not stay deaf to my crying. I am your guest, and only for a time, a nomad like all my ancestors. Look away, let me draw breath, before I go away and am no more.” Nice ending, huh? But you can see, that last bit there, the Psalmist is just crying out from her heart. Listen to me Lord! Hear my prayer! I’m talking to you! Feel that emotion.  It’s intense.
All this EMOTION in the Psalms – like the FEELING of wanting some situation to just DISAPPEAR – or feeling like God has just up and Forgotten you COMPLETELY, all that is all in there. I think there might be some Christians – with good intentions, I’m sure – who might tell us we’re should only be grateful and sweet and good inside, because we’ve been saved, right? but that just isn’t a reality God is holding us to, always being sweet inside. Obviously, we should always be grateful to God, but that doesn’t mean that is the ONLY emotion we are ever going to have towards him, or bring to him. That’s just not a reality we have modeled for us in the Bible.

The Psalms are very honest. They are also full of trust – sometimes in the Psalms, we’re waiting for God to act, but not quite seeing it yet. I hope I can communicate this – that actually DEFINES faith – waiting for God to act, and not quite seeing it yet. That’s what Hebrews 11 is saying when it says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This is a HUGE part of walking with God. Just waiting some stuff out. Just trusting that something is going on in heaven on our behalf, even though we can’t see ANYTHING happening at the moment. That’s part of why these Psalms are here. To reassure us again. This is how it is sometimes in life with God. But hold tight. Hold tight. God knows who we are and what we need.


8 Responses to The Reassurance of the Psalms

  1. timbob says:

    Greetings. Great reflections and so very accurate. The book of psalms truly runs the emotional gamut.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  2. Endlessly Rocking says:

    That was lovely, Megan. The psalms really are pretty incredible, I had forgotten. I took a look at psalm 39, and I really liked this line: “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.” It’s really focusing on how small, and how impermanent our lives are — no sugarcoating. Really wanting to know it. It’s funny how a sentiment like this, something that makes me feel small, has a much greater effect on me spiritually than any kind of lofty or exalted sentiment. Funny, too, to think of that as “reassurance.”

  3. Endlessly Rocking says:

    I almost forgot — thanks for putting me on your blogroll!

  4. ellen stevens says:

    I love taking deeper looks at psalms. My current fav is Psalm 8. Thanks for sharing your insights with us.

  5. What a neat reflection. Why is it that we keep gravitating toward perfection, in our own lives and in the lives of others? I think we must keep it as our ideal, but we must never think that it completely materializes in reality. Thanks for your post.

  6. Dale says:

    Amen! Thank God for the reassurance that while we are waiting and struggling, he is not absent.

  7. Hola Megan

    hace mucho que no oigo nada de ti ¿dónde estas? Mi esposa y yo tuvimos la oportunidad de ir a Mexico y visitar a la familia despues de 7 años de estar viviendo en USA. Fue un viaje muy bonito y muy gratificante. Espero estes bien y quiero informarte que cambie la direccion de mi blog a….

    Saludos y recuerda Respira a Dios….

    Tu amigo “blogista”

  8. Charles Cameron says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Psalms 38-39. Here are some more thoughts on these Psalms. I hope you find them helpful

    Psalm 38
    What a sorry state of affairs we have here! – ‘My guilt has overwhelmed me. Like a heavy load, it is more than I can bear’(4). What are we to do when things are going from bad to worse? What are we to do when everything seems to be falling apart? We must do what the Psalmist does – ‘I wait with hope for You, O Lord’(15). The Psalmist was ‘completely devastated’. His ‘heart was in turmoil’. He looked to his friends for help, but they were not there – ‘My loved ones and friends keep their distance’(8,11). Despised and forsaken by his friends, there was only one thing for it – ‘Take it to the Lord in prayer’. There is ‘a Friend so faithful’. He ‘knows our every weakness’. He ‘will share all our sorrows’. This Friend is Jesus. He will be there for us when there’s nowhere else to go (Mission Praise, 746).

    Psalm 39
    Some live to a ripe old age. Some die young. How does God view our time on this earth? – This is what the Psalmist says, ‘My life span is nothing compared with Yours’(5). The quality of our living is more important than the quantity of our years. “How am I living?’- This is the question of quality. It is more important than the question of quantity – “How long have I lived?”. “What am I doing with my life?”- This is the question each of us must answer. Life is not only about survival – living for a long time. It is about revival – living in the light of eternity. The Psalmist asks the question – ‘Lord, what am I waiting for?’. He gives his answer – ‘My hope is in You’(7). Let us live as ‘citizens of heaven’- ‘We look forward to the Lord Jesus Christ coming from heaven as our Saviour’(Philippians 3:20).

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