Nearly seventeen years ago, when I was part of a small mentoring group with Dr. Bobby Clinton studying the book of Psalms, I did my very first paraphrase of any Psalm and this is how it went:
And even today after many years when I bring up this Psalm and read it, I can vividly recollect that season of my life with its joys and challenges and how through it all God was still my constant presence. And gives me hope that the same God who was for me then is also here with me today.
Our expressions to God have a way of doing that. They solidify whatever ounce of faith we have and builds it stronger.
And we can express any of our emotions before God – our joys, our hope, our faith, our praise, our songs, our thought processes, our confusions, our sadness, our sorrow, our grief, our pain….etc.
God can handle each and every one of our emotions.
And the best part is that none of our grief and tears are wasted on God who keeps track of every single one of them:
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
Psalm 56:8, NIV.
Even the closest of our friends may grow weary of giving us a listening ear continually, but the Lord never wearies of listening to us.
So, this week, I encourage all of us to continue to journey together in Psalms once again and read more, paraphrase more and write your own expressions to God. They could be expressions of joy, expressions of faith, expressions of sorrow….it does not matter what they are. As long as you are directing them to God, He is able to take it and glorify it for His name’s sake for our God is able to even take mourning and turn it into joy.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
If you missed last week’s entry on what the book of Psalms is all about, be sure to check it out: Week 15: The Lord reigns and is also a very present source of security
And below is a reminder on how you can continue in this journey through Psalms.
The biblical Psalms are filled with praises and prayers to help us express our emotions to the Holy God so that we may experience intimacy with Him in His presence.
Weekly Reading Plan
Again for this week, instead of me prescribing something, what you read is totally up to you. Below is a list of all the Psalms grouped by the section along with the author and the type of Psalm it is. Based on the situation you are experiencing this week, feel free to pick a Psalm or two each day that is applicable for you.
However, if at all possible, do try to vary it a bit each day.
But if you need my suggestions, here are some of my favorites:
1 – Godly and the ungodly
2 – God is God of the Nations
8 – Humanity
19 – The Glory of God
22 – Picturing the Suffering on the Cross
23 – The Shepherd Psalm
27 – Hope in the Lord even in Hopeless Situations
42 – He satisfies my thirst
46 – God is my Refuge and Fortress
51 – Model for a Repentant Heart
73 – God is good in the midst of my trials
84 – Expression of trust in the Lord
90 – Moses’ Psalm filled with wisdom
91 – Lord is my Refuge
98 – Singing a new Song to the Lord
100 – Worship the Lord
103 – Praising God for all Aspects
107 – Psalm of Thanks
139 – I am intimately known by God
150 – Praising God
Don’t forget to use the template I shared previously to help you on this journey.
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Read at least one Psalm from each of the categories.
- Re-write Psalm 23 or another favorite Psalm using your own words for your own situation.
- Compose your own hymn of thanks to the Lord reciting and remembering His goodness in your life.
- Compose your own prayer pleading for God’s mercies over a situation that requires His mighty intervention in your own life or in the life of a loved.
And that is it for week 16!
Happy Bible Learning!