Psalm Challenge!

You have been challenged to read at least one Psalm every day this week and then post about that Psalm and your reaction to it on our blog!

I have also promised that whatever Psalms you all post about on this blog, I will read myself and respond to as well. So get reading and get posting! Let’s all benefit from one another as we read through God’s Word together!

Good Luck! May God bless your efforts and may you grow closer to Him this week!

Andy

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17 thoughts on “Psalm Challenge!

  1. PSALM 52
    This is one of my FAVORITE PSALMS!!! It has definitely lifted me up during my hardest times in life. Especially when I was struggling with understand the power of God. It helps me open my eyes to see that even though I am a sinner and even though I am flawed, I still have God’s love and grace that will set me free. It helps me see that mistakes are okay and that I can go to Him for everything.

    A few years ago, when I first started school, I went through a state of depression. One of the resources I used was the prayer chapel at school. It is a small building with a huge bible, worship music, crafts, and basically anything that you could think of that you could praise God with. I went in and found myself turning the pages of the bible starting to cry trying to figure out what God wanted from me. I came to the pages of Psalm 52, and it was then that I realized that all of issues and emotions that I was dealing with, they did not matter. All that mattered was that I knew God was there too cleansing me from my sin and restoring me every time I messed up.

    It was moving. Hope you guys enjoy it sometime too! 🙂

    • What a wonderful example of God being able to move in the midst of struggle and in any way He sees fit. This is a Psalm written by David during the time that Saul was still the king and David wasn’t exactly Saul’s favorite person. Isn’t it interesting that we can take heart and grow and be touched through someone else’s experiences – It is amazing how God uses the lives of others to help us.

  2. PSALM 84
    12 “LORD who rules over all, blessed is everyone who trusts in you”. This statement is incredibly true. You are blessed when you trust in God because when you trust in him, his plan is carried out and amazing things happen. You are blessed when you trust in God because you shall have eternal salvation. You are blessed because the creator of everything is with you all the time and takes care of you! PSALM 84 was really a praise to God and all his greatness, and how in 10 “A single day in your courtyard is better than a thousand anywhere else”, which really emphasizes how extraordinary God and his presence is.

    • What a beautiful example of an Adoration Psalm. This Psalm author(s) seem as though they are simply unable to convey the depth of their appreciation for the very nature of God. And if there was ever a Psalm that was clearly meant to be sung or proclaimed like a poem, this is it!

      In fact, a modern worship song comes from this Psalm. “Better is one day…” is a song by Kutless. Check out the lyrics:

      How lovely is
      Your dwelling place
      Oh Lord Almighty,
      My soul doth long
      And even faint
      For You
      Here my heart
      Is satisfied
      Within Your presence
      I see beneath
      The shadow of
      Your wings

      Better is one day in Your courts
      Better is one day in Your house
      Better is one day in Your courts
      Than thousands elsewhere
      Better is one day in Your courts
      Better is one day in Your house
      Better is one day in Your courts
      Than thousands elsewhere

      I love when Psalms are turned into modern songs because it reminds us of the nature of the Psalms – an emotional, powerful, prayerful connection with God in a unique and personal way.

      I love all the imagery here too! It is funny that we struggle to conceive of and describe God, so we must resort to doing our best and making metaphors – the bird and its nest (v 3), behold our shield (v 9), the LORD (YHWH) God is a sword and shield (v 11). And the final verse is great – “Blessed is the man [or woman!] who trusts in You!”

      May it be so…

  3. PSALM 27
    In verse 1, it says “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I fear?” It’s very cool and comforting to know that there are no enimies or struggles that we may face that God can’t help us overcome. There are many things that scare us as humans, but I feel such a sense of comfort knowing that whenever I am put in a situation where I am fearful, I can refer back to this verse. I also felt so thankful reading this knowing that I am a beliver, therefore I can recive strength and courage from God. It makes me feel sad for unbelivers, knowing that they can’t call on God to strengthen their heart. It makes me wonder how they get through life without Him. On verse 14, it talks about waiting on the Lord so that we can be given courage. This reminds me that as belivers, we have to be patient for God to strengthen us overtime through our trials and tribulations!

    • It is a sad thought that unbelievers can’t call on God to strengthen their hearts, but I think we should remember that we are all children of God, and God looks out for all of us, believer or not. If he didn’t look out for a nonbeliever, then they would essentially never have the CHANCE to achieve salvation because God wouldn’t have sent a Christian their way to impact their life and bring them Christ(it’s all apart of his plan). A nonbeliever isn’t able to call on God for strength, but they have a value to God and he will certainly watch out for them as we are all his children. This brings us to the point that as Christians, we should always be listening for God in our lives, because no matter how small the task, it may be someone’s only exposure to God through those actions you carry out to fulfill that task(like having a conversation with someone you usually don’t have one with), and by not carrying it out they missed that chance, and God might have to call on someone else to fulfill that task. I really like how at the end you talked about how as believers, we have to be patient with God to strengthen us overtime through trials and tribulations. It is very true! We may want God to give us the certain tools we need in life and to strengthen the ones we already have, but God made his plan perfectly and we will get stronger by going through those trials in God’s time of planning.

      • Good thoughts Ashley. I think you are right that God is certainly there for all of us, but He never forces Himself on us at all. He leaves the decision up to us. And while He certainly WANTS to offer to us everything He has for us, if people refuse it, He allows them their refusal.

        And this is where Christians come in. It is definitely a call in our lives to make people aware of what God has to offer so they stop refusing it and start accepting it! The Bible tells us that God makes Himself apparent to everyone in some way, but they must react to that awareness. Often that reaction is to resist – because it requires submission, humility, admission of sinfulness and need, and these are things people are not always ready to give. But people miss the wonderful part of this commitment! The peace, the support, the power of God mentioned in this Psalm!

        So my question to you is… HOW do we respond in the way God wants us to respond in order to bring God to those people? How do we recognize what God is asking us to do?

        Good thoughts, Ash!

    • Great point Mak! Along with this, do you think it’s hard to always remember, during our hard times, that God is right there with us? So like for example, if I have a major paper due tomorrow and I haven’t even started, sometimes I’ll stress myself out and worry and go crazy and honestly forget that I can still do it. But sometimes I do remember and say, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). and I get through it, do you ever have an issue with remembering in the midst of Chaos?

      • Good thought… sometimes it is difficult to remember the promises of God in the midst of the chaos of life. I think the answer to this is to stay in Scripture as often as possible and read it/study it well. THe more we read God’s Word, the more we will be able to recall the promises He makes in it.

        And a secondary thought… I think God is always there for us but I do not think He always “bails us out” so to speak. I do not think that is what you are saying at all, but it just made me think of it. Sometimes the best thing a Leader/Father can do is allow His children to fail – and then support them through the failure and help them learn from it in the long run. So He may not save me from a problem I have created for myself because then I do not grow from it.

        THoughts?

        Good things, Gonzo!

    • Wonderful thoughts, Mak! Interesting comment about how you feel sad for unbelievers because they do not get to experience what you get to experience. Does that motivate you to bring your faith to those who do not believe?

      And you’re right! What a wonderful comfort to know that God can handle whatever the world throws at us… even thought we must sometimes wait – and that can be tough!

  4. Psalm 61
    The author of this psalm expresses their feelings of love and admiration for God by admitting that they are weak and that they need him, and look forward to being in his presence one day. The author then talks about how God has heard their promises, and asks God to 6 “Add many days to the king’s life. Let him live on and on for many years. May he always enjoy your blessings as he rules. Let your love and truth keep him safe”. The author will thank and praise God everyday for everything he’s done for them, and for all the prayers that God has answered. It’s really a psalm about being thankful for what God has given us, and to praise and thank him for what he’s done.

    • What great timing for the holiday of this month!!… sometimes as christians, we forget that being thankful should be a part of our everyday life, and not just one month in the year. Something I learned when I was younger was a new way to add on to prayer: praising. It is a part of the prayer, usually before asking for something, we start with praising/thanking God for something amazing that happened. It usually helps us remember the amazing work he does in our lives everyday!!
      I encourage you to try it out!!! haha your last line just sparked my thoughts!! its amazing how discussion on God’s Word can spark it! 🙂

      • It is a fantastic discipline to give thanks and praise God in the midst of our prayers. Typically, we are great at asking for things when we pray – either for ourselves or for others – but when it comes to thanks and especially to adoration/praise, we sometimes forget the importance.

        A cool acronym to remember, if it helps any of you guys, is “ACTS”
        A – Adoration – Praise and worship
        C – Confession – Bring your sins to God, confess them
        T – Thanksgiving – Giving thanks for everything (even struggle and pain!)
        S – Supplication – Requests made to God for healing, forgiveness, guidance, etc.

        Now consider the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus spoke it when he was teaching the disciples how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13):

        “Our Father, who is in Heaven,
        Hallowed (holy) be You Name, (ADORATION)
        Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, (ADORATION, SUPPLICATION)
        On Earth as it is in Heaven.
        Give us this day our daily bread, (SUPPLICATION)
        And forgive us our debts (trespasses, sins), (CONFESSION)
        As we forgive our debtors (those who have wronged us),
        And lead us not into temptation,
        But deliver us from the evil one.” (SUPPLICATION)

        And then there seems to be an attitude or gratitude and thanks throughout the prayer as the prayer (Jesus, in this case) believes that those things will be granted to him (us).

    • Very astute observations, Ashley. This is a Psalm of thanks. There is a bit of disagreement but a common opinion is that this was written by David while he was the king (so the king he is talking about is himself). However, a man named Absalom had rebelled against him and forced him to flee temporarily. Most likely, this Psalm was written by David once he was able to be restored to his kingship and he was extremely thankful for that restoration.

      I like the imagery too; that God is a “tower of strength”. I love hearing someone like David so passionate and blunt about how he feels about God. Sometimes I wish for that level of abandon in my relationship with Him.

  5. PSALM 139
    Love this Psalm too! I used to sing this in my worship band when I led one in high school… the most reassuring point is 2:
    2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
    … God knows what’s going on in all of our lives, he knows what we say, what we think, he created us in our mother’s womb, he knows who we are and was present in how we are made. It is up to us to let Him in…
    No matter where we are, God is always with us.

    • I love that take on that passage, Liz. I also want to point out, though, that there is a bit of a disconcerting side to this as well. I love that God is always with me because He is there when I need an ear, a friend, hope, grace, and all the other wonderful things that come from a complete and consistent relationship with God.

      However… that also means He is right there with me in the midst of my sin, my bad decisions, my betrayals of Him when I do something I know He would not want me doing. Think about verse 2 again… “You perceive my thoughts from afar…” I have definitely thought things that embarrassed and ashamed me in front of God. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, so my sinfulness is not unique to me. But I still do not like the idea that God has seen those things I have done and thought that I hid from everyone else in the world.

      BUT!!! Check this out!
      ———————————–
      Romans 5:6-11
      6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

      9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
      ————————————

      So even though we rebel against God when we sin, even though He is standing right next to us when we hurt someone else or when we do something we know we shouldn’t do even if no one else knows about it, even though He is privy to our inner-most thoughts of anger or hatred or jealousy or greed or lust or whatever else… While we were still sinners, Jesus died for us…

      So in the midst of our failures and struggles and sins and brokenness, His love persists and pursues.

      And this love comes from His nature as Creator! He knit us together in our mother’s womb, as the Psalm says. There is no where we can go where He cannot go. So even when we may want to run from who we are sometimes, He never does.

      Beautiful…

  6. Bella read Psalm 100 and texted me to tell me, so I am responding to her on here so you can all respond as well!

    Psalm 100 is quite short, but beautiful! It is a simple, yet profound recognition of how wonderful God is and how important it is for us to recognize that.

    I like verse 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.

    I like the image of us as sheep to God because one of the comparisons Jesus uses to describe himself in the Gospel of John is that he is the Good Shepherd and that we are his sheep… and a good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep…

    So of course God deserves our praise! Good pick, Bella!

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