For today’s reading, we went through Psalms 47-51.
Psalm 47 is another song of praise. The author tells us that God is the King of all the earth. He reminds us once again that God is over everything. “God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne.” (Ps. 47:8).
Psalm 48 also praises God and His power. I love the very last line of the chapter: “He will guide us forever.” It does not say He will guide His people for a short time, or for a while and then no more, it tells us He will be guiding our paths and lives forever.
In Psalm 49 we see that wealth and status on earth mean nothing in light of eternity. The wise and the foolish both pass away, and it does not matter what we have on earth. No amount of wealth, prestige, respect, or honor on earth will mean anything after we die. We cannot take with us the things we gain in this world. So even though the wicked may be rich on earth, they will suffer in Hell. It is the children of God who will rejoice for eternity in Heaven with God.
Psalm 50 tells us that everything we have to offer God is already His. Any sacrifice of an animal or burnt offering is already in His possession—He created it. The sacrifice that is most pleasing to Him is one of thanksgiving; a thankful heart filled with praise.
In Psalm 51, David asks the Lord to have mercy on him and blot out his sins. He wants to be washed clean of his sin and have a renewed, clean heart and spirit. This is something we should take very seriously and spend time praying for in our own lives. God sees our sin and knows what we will do before we even commit it. He alone can cleanse us from it and help us turn from living in sin. We should ask Him to help us and give us a “clean heart.”
Understanding our position as God’s children who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ gives us the freedom to walk in His righteousness. We should be living in a way that is broken and humble, asking for His strength to live a life glorifying to Him.
Today we read through chapters 42-46.
Psalm 42 shows David crying out in distress, asking “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” He tells us that despite knowing his hope is in the Lord and in Him alone, he finds himself struggling with doubt, anxiety, and fear. David compares his soul’s thirst for God to that of a deer panting for water. What a beautiful picture for how we should be thirsting after the Lord’s presence. He is our salvation and our strength—we should desire His presence more and more each day.
Chapter 43 is another Psalm in which we see David asking for God to have vengeance over his enemies. Though he seems discouraged that his enemies attack and go against him, he chooses once again to put his trust in the Lord. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” (Ps. 43:5).
In the beginning of Psalm 44, we see the author praising the Lord for the ways He delivered His people. He explains that it was not by the work of their hands or weapons that they succeeded, but by the hand of the Father. It is in God and His power that we should boast, not in any of our own abilities. Toward the middle of this Psalm, we see the author change their tone, as they are now crying out to the Lord in distress, asking why He has rejected them, calling upon Him for help. The rest of the chapter is spent in petition to the Lord, asking for Him to rescue them from their enemies. “Redeem us for the sake of Your steadfast love!” (Ps. 44:26b).
Psalm 45 is a picture of the Gospel. It discusses the majesty of the King—his grace and mercy that last always. He is on the throne, ruling and reigning forever. His name shall be remembered by all generations, and he shall be praised forever and ever!
Psalm 46 is one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible. It begins by saying that God is our refuge and strength in times of trouble. We have no reason to fear, for He is with us always. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” This verse has been one of the most encouraging, comforting pieces of scripture that I have read. The command to “be still” is one that brings peace to my spirit. It reminds me that I do not have any control over my circumstances, and that I only need to be still and trust in Him. God alone is sovereign over all, and I should put my faith and hope in Him alone. He will act on my behalf; all I must do is wait on Him!
During our eighth day of reading, we went through chapters 36-41.
In Psalm 36 we read about the wicked who have no fear of God. They think their sin will be kept secret and not be found out. The wicked one’s words are full of lies, his plans are trouble, and he walks in a manner that is evil and deceptive. Those who are in the Lord should be walking in contrast to the wicked, living a life of righteousness. The children of God “feast on the abundance of His house” and are never in want for anything. Everything we need comes from Him, and when we seek Him with all of our heart, we will be satisfied.
Psalm 37 reminds us to focus on what God is doing, not what the wicked are doing. We should not worry about the one who “prospers in his way,” but instead look to the Lord. Though the wicked may seem to prosper here on earth, we know that it is the children of God who will spend eternity in heaven with the Lord.
Psalm 38 provides a vivid description of what sin looks like in our bodies. David does a powerful job describing how it burns and tears away at our flesh. We don’t tend to think of sin this way, even though this is exactly what it does—poison our bodies and eat away at our spirit. He says he will wait for the Lord and confess his sin. David understands how wicked his heart is, yet he kneels before the throne and confesses his transgressions, asking for forgiveness and knowing our Father is faithful to extend grace and forgive.
Psalm 39 is interesting, as it shows just how small our life is in comparison to God. He has always been and always will be. Our life is “like a breath,” short and fleeting. Because it is so short, we should work hard to make each day we have here on earth be a living testimony, giving glory to the Lord in all we do.
Chapter 40 is beautiful, as it gives praise to God as our hope and deliverer. He saved us and set our feet upon a strong rock that will not falter or fail. This Psalm says, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” Those who put their hope and trust in Him ARE blessed! We are blessed by His presence, mercy, grace, and steadfast love.
In Psalm 41 we see David compare his sin to sickness. He asks the Lord to heal him of this illness, making him more like the Lord. I love this! I know that is something I should be praying for—for the Lord to help me understand the depravity that is my sin nature, and heal me of this sickness that eats away at my soul.
These chapters are a good reminder of the seriousness of our sin condition, and encouraging as we see just how gracious God is in His forgiveness. He truly is a merciful, loving Father!
Today we went through chapters 31-35.
In Psalm 31 David refers to the Lord as his rock and his fortress. The Lord is his place of safety and rest. He is a stronghold that will not be shaken. I really love how David commits his spirit into the Lord’s hand. That is something serious and beautiful that I want to do in my own life—commit our whole life and being to Him.
Psalm 32 discusses how those who confess their sins and are forgiven are truly blessed. It is so easy for us to try and hide our sin, but we God already sees all of it. There is so much freedom that comes from confessing all we do to Him and the love and forgiveness that we receive from Him when we do.
Psalm 33 is a song of praise. David tells us to give thanks to the Lord with song, singing and playing instruments. This resonates with me, as I love to sing. I find joy when I am able to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God and worship Him with my voice. It is truly a blessing! This chapter says yet again that the love of our Lord is steadfast, and that all of His work is done in faithfulness. This is something we should take great comfort in—the fact that whatever the Lord wills to do with happen. He is faithful in all He does! We as His children can put all of our hope in Him as we trust Him to fulfill His promises. “Let Your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in You.” ( Ps. 33:22).
The very first verse in Psalm 34 says “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” This verse is very powerful when you think about it. David is saying that no matter what happens, no matter the circumstances, he will praise God continually. I know that I struggle at times with continuously praising God during times of trial and stress, yet I know it is what I should be striving to do. God is good, even when what I am going through isn’t. Throughout the rest of this psalm we see that God hears the cries of His people and is near to those who are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. What an encouraging statement, as we oftentimes feel broken and crushed!
Psalm 35 is one that gave me a new perspective on what it means to be a prayer warrior. In this chapter we see David crying out to God, asking for Him to strike down His enemies, whatever the cost, even to the point of death. While this may seem harsh at first, if we truly believe that God is sovereign over all—including salvation—then we have nothing to fear. We should confidently pray for the Lord to work on behalf of His children, destroying the ways of the wicked so that His glory will be seen above all. We can pray God to restore us and slay our enemies. When we pray for God to make war on our behalf, we are praying for a battle in which the Lord will prevail—we are prayer warriors! What an awesome gift we have in prayer, to be able to speak to our Father and ask for His help in times of trouble.
I am so encouraged each day as I get further and further into the book of Psalms and look forward to every new chapter I get to read. It truly is a blessing that we have been given the Word of the Lord in a tangible form and are able to learn more about who He is. God is good!
Today we read through chapters 26-30.
In Psalm 26 we see David ask the Lord to try his heart. He knows he has been “walking in integrity” and following the law of the Lord. That is a pretty confident request! It is something I want to feel comfortable asking myself—to live in a way that truly puts God and His glory above all else, so that I may feel confident in asking the Lord to search my own heart.
Psalm 27 is one of my absolute favorite chapters in the Bible. In it we see David have confidence in the power and provision of God as he says “Whom shall I fear?” This is something we as believers should take to heart. God is sovereign over everything. There is nothing man can do to us that God will not allow or protect us from if that be His will. My favorite verse in this chapter is the very last one; “14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” It is so comforting! We CAN have courage and peace as we wait on Him to act on our behalf. He is able and His steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 28 made me think about the world today. In it we read how David cries out to the Lord for strength against his enemies. He does not want to be like the wicked of this world who turn away from God and turn toward their sinful desires. Verse 3 says; “3 Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts.” This is very convicting and should make us check our own hearts. How many times do we see people who speak in a way that seems genuine and good, yet later find out their heart and motives behind it were evil? We should search our hearts carefully before we speak and make sure that what we say matches with how we truly feel. David says the Lord is his strength and his shield. The Lord is our refuge against all evil—we need only run to Him.
Psalm 29 is a beautiful song of praise! David sings praises to the glory and holiness of the Lord and His attributes. He describes the power of His voice, His majesty, His strength, and His power. This chapter is a wonderful reminder of the power and authority of our Creator. He is over all things, and through Him we find our strength.
In Psalm 30, we can find encouragement as we read David’s praise for the Lord delivering him in times of trouble. He gives thanks because when he has cried out unto the Lord, He has listened and rescued him. The Lord will hear and heal His people!
Throughout these chapters we see how David gives thanks to the Lord in all circumstances. This is a wonderful reminder to us as children of God, that we should also give thanks in every season of life we may be in. Whether it is during seasons filled with many visible blessings, or seasons where we feel the pain of suffering, His praise should be continually on our lips.
In today’s reading we went through chapters 21-25.
In Psalm 21, David discusses how we find joy when we are in the presence of the Lord. I find this to be absolutely true! The more time I spend reading the Word and in prayer with God, the more I am at peace and filled with joy. Happiness is circumstantial, but true joy comes from satisfaction in the Lord. Another piece of this Psalm that I love is when David says through the steadfast love of the Lord he will not be moved. That is so beautiful!
Psalm 22 is another song where we see David crying out to God in distress. He asks why God has forsaken him, and says that he is finding no rest, feeling far from His presence. Yet through all of this, he knows God is still holy and perfect. Even in the seasons when we feel as though God is not hearing our cries, we can put our trust in Him and have faith that He will deliver us. Though God may allow suffering on this earth, He will deliver us from the destruction of this world when we join Him in eternity in Heaven. David also says that despite his despair, he will praise the Lord to his brothers in Christ so they might be encouraged to put their trust in Him.
Psalm 23 is probably the most well-known of all the psalms. I love the analogy of the Lord being our Shepherd. He watches over and cares for us in such an attentive, protective, and loving way. David says that the Lord restores his soul. God does restore us. When we seek Him, we find peace and rest. No matter what we are facing, we do not need to fear because He is always with us and will uphold us for His name’s sake.
In Psalm 24 it says that the earth and all that is in it is the Lord’s—He created it. I think that is something we as humans can easily forget or neglect to take seriously. God created everything. He alone brought the world and life itself into existence. It is by the work of His hands, His voice, that anything exists at all. Because of Him and Him alone we are alive. We should not hold onto anything with selfishness because we do not have the right to do so. We did not create what we have possession of. Anything and everything we own or enjoy has been graciously given to us by the Father, therefore we should thank Him for His grace in blessing us with what He has. He did not have to give us anything, yet He delights in blessing us abundantly. That is pretty amazing!
Psalm 25 is one I can definitely relate to, as David is both praising and crying out to God at the same time. He is praising God for all He has done, yet asking Him to deliver him from his sins. I often find myself praising the Lord for the work He has done in my life, yet crying out to Him for strength to continue on in trying seasons. Once again David discusses the steadfast love of the Lord. We know it must be important to remember, as it mentioned over and over again. His love is unending, unfailing, constant, pure, and true. Because of His love, we are free from slavery to sin and can now walk in the righteousness of Christ. How great is the love of our Lord!
It is beautiful to see the ways God’s Word flows together so seamlessly, as each chapter of Psalms goes so well with the last. It is encouraging reading the struggles of someone who lived an imperfect life like me, and watching him be able to praise the Lord through each trial. What a powerful example!
For today’s reading, we studied chapters 17-20.
In Psalm 17 David is yet again crying out to God. He says that he calls upon the Lord and knows He will answer. David also says that he walks in the statutes of God. This is something we should work hard to do as well, learning more about Christ and living in a way that glorifies God; acting like the example we have in His son.
Psalm 18 was the longest that I have read so far in this challenge and was one of the most encouraging. Throughout the Psalm we see David praising God, thanking Him for the ways He delivered him from all of his enemies. Though David was weak, the Lord made him strong. When he was afraid, he placed his confidence in the Lord. We see that God is near to the righteous and a refuge to all who cry out to Him.
Psalm 19 is another song of praise to the Lord. David tells us “the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (Ps. 19:7). The word of God brings new life to our soul! When we read God’s Word, we learn more about who He is and who we are as His children. We are told that His word “makes wise the simple.” We have nothing to lose by studying the Word, but knowledge, wisdom, and a better understanding of God to gain!
Psalm 20 tells us once again to put our trust in the Lord. I love how that is one of the underlying themes of the book of Psalms. It is so important and we definitely need that reminder day by day. Some put their trust in the things of this world, which will fade away, but those who put their trust in Him have faith in the One who is constant and will never change. This allows us to have great confidence—not in ourselves, but in knowing our sovereign Lord is in control!
I am thankful for the encouragement I receive each day as I continue to go deeper into this book, and look forward to learning more and more throughout this study of the Psalms.
Today we studied Psalms chapters 11-16.
In chapter 11, David tells us he takes refuge in the Lord. The Lord sees all that happens, both with the wicked and the righteous. David says that the Lord will test the righteous, but He hates those who are wicked. This reminds me of James 1:2-3 which says the Lord tests our faith in order to produce steadfastness. He tests our faith in Him because He loves us and wants us to grow.
Psalm 12 discusses the evilness of man—he is prideful and full of sin, born with a wicked heart. God sees all that we are and will provide refuge to those who trust in Him from the destruction of this world. What an encouraging truth! While the Bible tells us that we will undergo trials and suffering on this earth, we can take comfort in knowing that the pain we may experience here is nothing in comparison to the joy that we will experience for all eternity.
Psalm 13 is interesting because we get to see a different side of David. He is crying out to the Lord in distress, feeling as though He is far from him. He asks for strength against his enemies. Even though he is suffering, he still chooses to trust in the steadfast love of the Lord.
Psalm 14 reminded me a lot of Romans chapter 3. In it David discussed how none is righteous, no not even one—no one seeks for God, all have turned aside, rejecting the Lord. He tells us that the fool says in his heart “There is no God.” The wicked commit evil deeds toward the poor, weak, and powerless—yet God sees all. He will restore the righteous!
In chapter 15 David describes those who will “dwell on the Lord’s holy hill.” He describes them as being those who do good, walk in righteousness and follow the Lord.
Psalm 16 was by far my favorite that I have read during these first 3 days! David says, “I have no good apart from You.” What a powerful statement! It is so true. Anything good that we have comes from the Lord. He is the ultimate good, and through Him we receive grace and mercy. David also reminds us that those who run after other “gods” (in today’s world that might be money, sex, a job, relationship, food, etc.) will never be satisfied. “In His presence is fullness of joy.” This says it all! True satisfaction and contentment comes from God. He IS enough.
Check back tomorrow to learn about chapters 17-20!
For the second day of the Psalms reading plan, we went through chapters 6-10.
In Psalm 6, David cries out to the Lord in despair. He shows us that even in times of distress, the Lord hears our cries. We can take comfort in knowing that no matter the circumstances, our Heavenly Father is there for His children.
Chapter 7 is important, as it reminds us that the Lord knows the hearts of men—both the righteous (those made righteous by the blood of Christ) and the unrighteous. David asks for his sin to be made known. If he has wronged his brother, he wants to know so that he can be held accountable for it. This is so interesting to see, as most people (myself included) struggle with being open about their sin, when the reality is—God already knows!
Psalm 8 is a beautiful song of praise. David says, “Who is man that You are mindful of him, and the Son of man that You care for him?” God in His infinite grace, love, and mercy, showed His love for us by sending His Son to dwell among us and suffer alongside man on the earth. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Ps. 8:9).
Psalms 9 and 10 discuss how the wicked of this world are arrogant and prideful in their sin. They act as though God does not exist—as if He cannot see what they are doing, so they can avoid consequences. But in the end, God will blot them out and no one will even remember their name. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, for His children who cry out to Him for help. When all is said and done, it will be the name of the Lord that will last forevermore. He alone is constant, never changing, in control. “16 The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land. 17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear 18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.” (Psalm 10:16-18).
Throughout the Psalms, David tells us that he gives thanks with his whole heart. What a convicting thought! When I give thanks and praise to the Lord, I should be doing it with my whole heart—giving thanks for everything He has blessed me with. Any and everything I have is because of His grace, so I should give Him my everything, my heart.
This reading plan has already been a huge blessing just in the first two days! I am excited to see what else I will learn in the coming weeks.
For 31 days I will be reading through the book of Psalms. I am doing this reading plan with two of my closest friends, and we are taking the opportunity to share with one another the things we learn each day throughout this book. I thought I would share what we discuss over the course of the next month.
For the first day, we read Psalms 1-5.
In Psalm 1 the author focused on the importance of delighting in the law of the Lord. I know that I personally struggle with delighting in the commands of the Lord, but I read over and over throughout the bible how David says the words of God are “sweet to (his) taste” (Ps. 119:103). I want to think of God’s Word in the same way. It is a sweet gift that we have from our Father—He graciously speaks to us through His perfect Word!
In chapter 2 David discussed having a proper fear or reverence of the Lord. We should put our trust in God alone, and not look to the things of this world.
Psalm chapter 3 was encouraging, as it flowed well with the first two chapters. David explained that when we cry out to the Lord, He hears us! He alone will provide peace, comfort, and strength to His people.
In Psalm 4, David praises the Lord because in Him we can find pure, true satisfaction. The things of the earth are fleeting, but God is constant, never changing.
Psalm 5 tells us to call upon the Lord and ask for guidance and direction. It explains that He will bless the righteous, His children—we have been made righteous because of the death of His Son. Though the evil of this world seems to never end, with new tragedies in the media every day, we can take comfort in knowing that God has the ultimate authority, even over those who seem to have power on earth.
I look forward to the next 30 days as I learn more and more from God’s Word.