Tag Archives: psalms

Gratitude: Psalms 131

Since Thanksgiving is at the end of this month, I’m sure there will be a lot of gratitude challenges on various social media platforms. I thought I would do my own challenge to share my favorite gratitude Psalms every Friday this month.

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
    Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
    for with the Lord is unfailing love
    and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
    from all their sins.

Psalm 130

I am grateful to have a God who redeems. I am grateful that I am not defined by my mistakes, even when I hold on to them longer than I should.

I’m a perfectionist in the worst sense of the word. I procrastinate on my projects, on everything really. I get very frustrated when it’s not perfect. I am my harshest critic. And this year has been filled with anxiety and depression and loneliness. My world got a lot smaller and my flaws got a lot bigger.

But this is where the beauty of redemption seeps in. Through the blood of Christ, his sacrifice, God doesn’t see that I am flawed. He sees that I am forgiven. And that freedom allows me to let go and love my neighbors. I’m not caught up in what I have or haven’t done, but what I can and will do.

Redemption isn’t just a second chance. It is a fully infusion of power and love that strengthens me to become what I was created to become. To do what I was created to do. To go where I was created to go. I am allowed to completely become the divine creature God created me to be.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the world, temptation, sin and brokenness are not still prevalent on my path going forward. If anything, they are almost guaranteed. And yet, God promises to walk the path with me, to never leave or forsake me, to press on toward the goal, to win the prize.

I am thankful for a God who walks with me, redeems the pain and hurt I have experienced and caused, whispering in my ear his love for his creation in me. And one day, redemption will be completed at the sound of trumpets and oh what a day that will be.

Gratitude: Psalms 111

Since Thanksgiving is at the end of this month, I’m sure there will be a lot of gratitude challenges on various social media platforms. I thought I would do my own challenge to share my favorite gratitude Psalms every Friday this month.

Praise the Lord.

I will extol the Lord with all my heart
    in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the Lord;
    they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
    and his righteousness endures forever.

Psalm 111:1-3

I am grateful to have a Creator God.

Mythology has always been a fascination of mine. The Greek Gods, the Norse Gods and all of the ways people explained the seemingly unexplainable. One of the fascinating threads that weaves through these stories is that the gods were awful. They would pillage and rape and seize. They were mercurial and wreaked havoc on the lives of humans.

But God, Yahweh, is god of love and creation and beauty. He wants a relationship with humankind, not to take advantage of them but to share in the perfect love that God is. And that’s beautiful.

I also love nature. My kid and I go to the park various throughout the week. It’s a time when I can just breathe, take in the trees changing with the seasons, watch animals go about their day. Recently, I watched as these ducks circled a pond two or three times before skimming the surface, waving their wings to slow themselves, and land on the water. Then just continue swimming around the pond. It was fascinating.

I’m so thankful for the ducks, the ponds, the trees. I’m thankful for the sunrises and sunsets, warm weather that seeps into the skin and cooler weather that evokes cozy cuddling. And I’m thankful for a God who gives us life and wonder and awe in the little and the big.

Gratitude: Psalms 34

Since Thanksgiving is at the end of this month, I’m sure there will be a lot of gratitude challenges on various social media platforms. I thought I would do my own challenge to share my favorite gratitude Psalms every Friday this month. This is a longer psalm, and while there is a lot of gratitude in this one, I want to focus on the first seven verses.

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
 I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
 Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.

 Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Psalms 34:1-7

I am thankful we have a God who will deliver us from our fears. Fear is not forever. And fear is not a signifier for a lack of faith.

There are so many instances in the Bible of people who were afraid, and yet stepped out in faith even in the midst of their fear. Moses was afraid to go back to Egypt and speak to the Pharaoh. He was afraid to even go back to the Jews and tell them that God was going to deliver them. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was afraid when the angel came to tell her that she would be pregnant with the Savior. The angel says “Do not be afraid” because she was troubled. And yet, these two (and so many others) are held up as great models of faith.

This is why I get so upset when I hear someone tell a person who is anxious, who is afraid, of certain circumstances in their life that they should just have faith. Because having faith does not guarantee the outcome we hope for or deter the outcome we fear will come. Faith is not the opposite of fear, they go hand in hand. We can still be afraid of the fire as we walk into it, knowing that God is holding our hand through it. My faith is not dependent on my circumstances, on my comfort. It is dependent on an unchanging God who can take anything this world can throw at me and use it for good, which means anything in this world can be thrown at me.

Christ’s faith did not keep him off that cross. It held him to that cross. He had faith that God was going to overcome, that he was going to defeat death and rise up on that third day. Faith shines a glimmer of the hope of redemption when we are in the darkness of fear.

My faith allows me to sit in the discomfort of fear and sadness. It gives me the strength to sit with others in their own discomfort without trying to will it away with platitudes. And I am so thankful for a God who gives me that strength to keep going, even when I am afraid.

Gratitude: Psalms 100

Since Thanksgiving is at the end of this month, I’m sure there will be a lot of gratitude challenges on various social media platforms. I thought I would do my own challenge to share my favorite gratitude Psalms every Friday this month. So, let’s start with one of probably the most popular Psalms of gratitude.

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

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.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalms 100

I’m so grateful for a God who is good, loving and faithful. Most of the gods of the Old Testament, even the gods in Greek mythology and others, were cruel to humans. Humans were slaves in the narrative, at the mercy of the whims of the gods. So many of the mythological stories include rape, kidnapping, and torture.

We see this in 1 Kings 18 when the Baal priests and Elijah compete to get the attention of their respective gods. And when Baal doesn’t respond, the priests do some pretty extreme things.

So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.

1 Kings 18:28

As was their custom. I am grateful to a God who doesn’t require us to spill our blood to get his attention. In fact, he spilled his own blood so that we may have a relationship with him.

I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness and love shown through the life and sacrifice of Jesus. I’m grateful for the resurrection. I am grateful for the hope we have in him. What better way to kick off this month of gratitude?

Psalm 143:8-10


Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
1Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

Psalm 143:8-10

Since we just celebrated Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do something that had to do with love this week. What better love story than the one between David and God. David pours his heart out in these Psalms. In some, he is angry and in others, he is praising the name of the Lord.

In this Psalm, David is being pursued by an enemy. I’m not sure when in his life he wrote this particular one. It could have been when Saul was after him, or when he was fighting in many of the wars during his reign, or when his own son was pursuing him. But he comes back to the Lord in this time of need.

I like that first stanza, “Let the morning bring word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.” I imagine David is going to sleep after a long, hard day of fighting or fleeing. He sets up camp and before he closes his eyes, these words are on his lips. This trust isn’t completely blind. David remembers the things God has done for him in the past. But it is a trust that walks out into the darkness without knowing what is there.

But even in that darkness of the unknown, David continues his song proclaiming that God is with him, showing him the way he should go and leading him on solid ground. That is faith. It’s knowing in the unknown that God is there.

I am so thankful for a God who walks with us in the low places, in the unknown parts, and even at times in the darkness. He is the light of unfailing love that will continue to show us the way home.

Psalm 3:5


I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

Psalm 3:5

When I am anxious, sleep is the first thing to go. My mind races and plays through my day and every conversation. Or my fears creep in from the edges, almost shaking me awake. It takes faith to sleep sometimes, to let go of the thoughts or the day. I guess that’s why the phrase is “to fall asleep.” Kind of like a trust fall, trusting that you will wake up in the morning.

David was on the run again. This time it was from his own son. I can only imagine how tired he must have been. How much his heart was breaking.

In the midst of all of this, he writes a Psalm acknowledging God as a shield and protector. Even when others have lost faith in him, he doesn’t lose faith in God. His anxiety must have been incredibly high. He didn’t know how this was going to play out, but he knew that it wasn’t going to be good.

Right in the middle he writes the above words. To me, it’s an ultimate sign of faith, to drift into vulnerable sleep while living on the run, trusting that God would protect and sustain him. That he would wake up with the energy to face whatever comes next.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But I want to have the faith of David that no matter what happens, God will protect and sustain me through it all.

Sustaining: Thankful for the Story

We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Psalm 78:4

I don’t think it’s a secret that there is some contentious stuff going on in the Christian community, especially here in America.  To be fair, a lot of my resources come from Twitter and social media in general, which tends to be pretty divisive on a normal day.  But I also hear the heartbreak and frustration coming out of the mouths of friends and family, longing for a redemption for the brokenhearted and oppressed.  Feeling betrayed that the Church is silent or speaks out in half-truths.  Longing for truth, justice, and peace to prevail.

And I wonder how the next generation will view the church when they grow up, view Christianity as a whole, as they watch us from the sidelines today.  Will they see a place of rage or redemption?  Will they see peacemakers or persecutors?  Will it be a place that includes the lost, broken, and hurting, or will it be a place that excludes those who don’t understand the codes, rules, and expectations?

It’s important for me to remember that though the Church is made up of a flawed humanity, it was created by a flawless God.  We won’t get it perfect, but we can trust in the perfection of God’s plan.  When I was in my darkest moments, I looked with desperation to find God’s presence.  And He revealed himself in small and big ways.  That is what I want to pass on to my son, to the next generation.  

You will see a lot of heartbreak if you live for any length of time on this earth.  You will get frustrated, lonely, broken, hurt, and sad.  But there is a God that is willing to walk you through it.  And as heavy as the bad feelings are, there will be moments of joy, wisdom, laughter, healing, and happiness coming.  I have hope in the next generation because God will work through their lives, revealing himself in special ways to them, just as he has done in my own generation.  And that’s a story I can pass on.

Sustaining: Thankful for God

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.  Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. Psalms 36:5-6
Six years ago, Michael and I went to Paris, France for our wedding anniversary.  I remember the first full day, we got on the metro to go to the Eiffel Tower.  We entered a tunnel during the trip into the heart of the city.  As we left the tunnel, the Tower came into view.  We were in a train car with other Americans, and there was an audible gasp as we all looked at it. We left the metro and walked to the tower.  We stood under it and looked up.  The sheer size of it left me speechless and overwhelmed.  I’ve had similar experiences underneath the Arizona sky at night, how the entire sky seems massive, stretching from one end of the earth to the other.  Also, looking out over the ocean on a cruise ship, how tiny the boat feels (which isn’t tiny in the least) compared to the unending water around us. This verse reminds me just how small I am compared to the love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice of God.  It is the tall tower, the evening sky, the expansive ocean.  It’s overwhelming and awe-inspiring.  I am so thankful we serve a God like our God.  

Waiting

waitinginthegap.jpg

I’m giving myself just a little break today, but I wanted to share a psalm that I’ve been meditating on the last couple of days.

Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;

Lord, hear my voice.

Let your ears be attentive

to my cry for mercy.

 

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,

Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness,

so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

 

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,

and in his word, I put my hope.

I wait for the Lord

more than watchmen wait for the morning,

more than watchmen wait for the morning.

 

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,

for with the Lord is unfailing love

and with him is full redemption.

He himself will redeem Israel

from all their sins.