“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.”
Did you know that there are a hundred and fifty psalms in the book of Psalms? Collectively, they were used as a hymnal for Jewish people. And, today, we sing psalms all the time, incorporating them into our hymns and praise music. The psalms we most often sing are the positive ones, about how everything is going great and everything is wonderful.
Nevertheless, three quarters of the psalms are those of lament, saying such things as: “Oh God, where are You?” “Oh God, why have You forgotten me?” “Why have You made me sick?” “Why have You caused our enemies to triumph?” “Oh God, why is everything falling down on me?”
Also, almost every Psalm is like a roller coaster ride. There’s this tension in what the Psalmist is saying, that everything is horrible, everyone is suffering, but still there’s hope: “I put my hope in You, God, but no, you don’t like me and you’ve forgotten about me and my enemies mock me, but still I’ll put my hope in you.”
To become a truly happy person in all things, we must be able to have faith that, in the midst of our lament, in the midst of our ups and downs, God can take anything and bring hope and healing.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the good times when all I can do is praise your name and bring you glory. But in the hard times and the ups and downs of life, you are also there. Sometimes it is in the midst of the toughest of circumstances that I feel your presence the most, encouraging me, bringing me strength. Amen.
Reflection: Do you have a favorite Psalm? What is it about this Psalm that ministers to you?
By Bobby Schuller, Crystal Cathedral Teaching Pastor