Psalm 22

My last post about not writing for an entire month is rather laughable now considering I haven’t sat down to write in 4 months. I don’t have a good reason for not writing. I just allowed other things to take up my time and writing fell to the wayside. But I am back…

For the past year there has been so much political bickering between parties. That tension and discord has been felt throughout our nation but amazingly in the last 10 days, politics has taken a back seat to our current national struggle – Covid 19 – the Corona virus. It has stopped us in our tracks. Schools and businesses have shut down. Individuals and families on quarantine if they have been exposed to the virus. Fears mounting as the numbers of infected are growing exponentially. Health care facilities maxed out with a shortage of basic medical supplies. It certainly has changed the landscape of our communities, our state, and our nation. Political bickering doesn’t seem important when we are fighting a battle of life and death.

That brings me to today’s passage. While this Psalm is a little longer, I would encourage you to read through it. Today I am quoting from the Passion Version. David’s song is one of anguish – maybe you can relate:

God, my God! Why would you abandon me now? Why do you remain distant, refusing to answer my tearful cries in the day and my desperate cries for your help in the night? I can’t stop sobbing. Where are you, my God?  ~ Psalm 22:1-2

Clearly David is struggling mightily. David felt abandoned – he felt desperate – he wanted relief.

Today you might be struggling – you might feel desperate – you might want relief.

The beautiful thing about the Psalm is that even in his pain, David recognized the Lord is faithful. We pick this up with David acknowledging the God is most holy and he praises him for his faithfulness. Let’s pick up what David is saying:

Our fathers’ faith was in you – through the generations they trusted and believed in you and you came through. Every time they cried out to you in their despair, you were faithful to deliver them; you didn’t disappoint them.  ~ Psalm 22:4-5

Since the day I was born, I’ve been placed in your custody. You’ve cradled me throughout my days. I’ve trusted in you and you’ve always been my God. So don’t leave me now; stay lose to me! For trouble is all around me and there’s no one else to help me. ~ Psalm 22:10-11

And while David acknowledges the faithfulness of the Lord, he also lets the Lord know just how much he is struggling. How about you? When you reach out in prayer, do you tell the Lord how you are feeling? It is OK if you are struggling. David knew his enemy was all around him and he prayed in anguish recognizing that the Lord would be his strength and deliverer. If you are struggling today, pour our your heart to the Lord – read Psalm 22 – embrace the promises of the Lord – reach out to a friend (by phone, email, or text since we need to practice social distancing) – know that you aren’t alone.

Psalm 21

Sometimes it is a real struggle to write – so I avoid it. Can you tell? It has been a month since my last post (insert your favorite emoticon here)… Anyway, I decided that today I was going to write something even if it is short so I read through Psalm 21 trying to figure out what I should write and I really am not feeling the least bit inspired. So I read it again…and again. Then it struck me – don’t write about Psalm 21, make it your own. So here is what I did. I took several verses and inserted my name. You should try it with your name – make this Psalm personal.

Lord, because of your strength Jackie is strong. Look how she rejoices in you! She bursts out with a joyful song because of your victory! For you have given Jackie her heart’s desire, anything and everything she asks for. You haven’t withheld a thing from your bethrothed one. – vs 1-2


The first time I read through Psalm 21 this evening I wasn’t connecting to it at all. It was just David’s Psalm and didn’t have anything to do with me. You see today has been a struggle for me. My focus was on what I don’t have. My attitide was one of defeat and discouragement. And yet, when I allowed the words of this Psalm to wash over me, I was filled with a peace and calm that only the Holy Spirit provides.

So again I say WOW…

Let the words of this Psalm bring you strength and victory as you face whatever trial comes your way!

Scriptures quoted from the Passion Translation

Psalm 20

How we read the Bible plays a significant role in our lives. When we quickly complete our reading to check that box before moving on to the next thing on our list, we often miss out on the beauty, richness, and complexity of these words of life and hope. Today’s scripture is one of those passages where you can miss out on the richness of the text if you quickly read through without pausing. Today I would like us to pause and reflect on a few verses in the middle of the chapter. David has given us this prayer for victory in a time of battle – and what about the battles you are facing?… The chapter begins by saying “In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem.” vs 1-2 These two verses set us up for the remainder of the chapter. Knowing and resting in the faithfulness of the Lord is a gift. He is only a call away. But the next section is what I really want to focus on today.

May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers – vs 4-5.

I see words in this section like ‘your heart’s desire’ or ‘your plans succeed’ and it makes me wonder – what are my heart’s desires? – what plans do I have and are my plans succeeding? This led me down a path of reflection. What plan or desire would leave me so captivated and excited that I couldn’t help but shout for joy? This really has me digging deeper. My heart’s desires better be so spectacular and amazing that when people see the things the Lord has accomplished we can’t help but raise a victory banner – because it is ALL for God’s glory. My plans and my desires need to come from a place of complete surrender. My plans and my desires need to be kingdom driven. My plans and my desires need to be as BIG as my God.

What does God want to do through your life? What desires has he placed in your heart that are WAY TOO BIG for you to handle on your own? What plans is he orchestrating on your behalf that are beyond the scope of anything you can imagine?

Scriptures quoted from New Living Translation

Psalm 19

I really enjoy Psalm 19. Partially because some of the verses were made into a song that we sang at church when I was a teenager, but also because it is a Psalm of Praise. It is declaring the Glory of God it the everyday things that we see. The grandeur of the world in which we live. There are many descriptive words about the heavens. Can you pick out some of them? Words like proclaim, bursts forth, and radiant are just a few. David was overwhelmed with the creation around him. He is thankful for the law that provides protection from evil. In this chapter my favorite verse comes at the end but I would like to share the last few verses to put it in context.

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

David understood his propensity toward evil. He understood that beneath the surface there may be things lurking in a dark corner that haven’t been brought into the light. By speaking this, he is acknowledging his need to focus his words and his thoughts on the Lord. May this also be my prayer. When there is something hiding in the dark, please Lord bring it into the light. Cleanse me and purify me. May the words I speak and the life I live be honoring in your sight.

Verses quoted from the New Living Translation

Psalm 18

It is hard to believe it has been over a month since I last posted a reflection. I have been spending a lot of time reading and pondering in the Gospel of John. There are many things I have to share – but that will be for another day. For now, I want to get back to Psalms and share a few things with all of you.

As I read through Psalm 18, I couldn’t help but think how much the words of David align with my life. Let me clarify just a bit – I haven’t been to war. I haven’t had enemies physically chasing me. I haven’t needed to fear for my life. But I have been battered by life. I have struggled. I have been hurt and rejected. I have been lonely. I have felt defeated. And when I read this Psalm, it felt like a cool glass of iced tea on a blisteringly hot summer day. I took a deep breath and said, Yes…this is it.

Lord, I passionately love you and I’m bonded to you. for now you’ve become my power! You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me. My strength and shield around me, you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on a hillside, always the champion of my cause. All I need to do is to call to you, singing to you, the praiseworthy God. When I do, I’m safe and sound in you. (verses 1-3)

How would you describe the love and strength of the Lord in your life? David used words like bedrock, castle, firm fortress, mountain of hiding, pathway of escape, tower of rescue. There are so many adjectives in our everyday life that we could choose to describe how the Lord is an influence in our daily lives. For instance, I am sitting at my kitchen table looking out my back window as I am writing this. I see a forest of trees and amongst all the brush are majestic maple and pine trees that are reaching tall and strong. When you look around you, do you see the attributes of God in the nature he created? What do you see? How would you describe God? How has he sustained you in the trials of life?

Take some time – read Psalm 18 – reflect on what it means in your life. I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this Psalm. Feel free to email me directly if you would like. Or – you are always welcome to comment directly on this post. Have a GREAT day and remember – “The Almighty is alive and conquers all! Praise is lifted high to the unshakable God! Towering over all, my Savior-God is worthy to be praised!” (verse 46)

Scriptures quoted from the Passion Translation.

Psalm 17

We all face challenges and struggles in our daily lives. Davis was no stranger to the trials and tribulation that comes with life. Today I find myself clinging to verse 6.

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.

Why am I clinging to this verse? – because there are trials I am facing and there are trials that others close to me are facing. I am praying with expectation that the Lord will hear my prayers and he will answer.

Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies. Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.

For the last several weeks Pastor Tom has been preaching from the book of James – ‘Show Me Faith’ series. Here we have David saying to God – show me your unfailing love. How do we see God’s unfailing love in our lives? When you face a trial, can you see God’s unfailing love in the midst of it? When you struggle emotionally, financially or relationally, do you see God’s unfailing love in the midst of it? When you are stretched to the limit, do you see God’s unfailing love in the midst of it?

Lord, may I have faith to believe that you will answer when you hear my prayers and may my life be a reflection of your unfailing love.

Scriptures quoted from the New Living Translation

Psalm 16

What do I need to come to the Lord and seek refuge from today? Living in the safety of the Lord’s protection is something I desire on a daily basis. Taking the time to recognize and acknowledge that everything good I have comes from the Lord helps to keep me grounded. When troubles come, I can rest assured that I am not alone and the battle I am facing will result in victory. Personally, when I spend time thanking the Lord for specific ways he has guided me, I find that those blessings are brought to my mind when I am struggling. Those memories often give me the courage and stamina I need when things appear to be crumbling around me so that even in the worst of times I can stand strong and not be shaken.

I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. – Psalm 16:7-11 New Living Translation

How will you express your gratitude to the Lord today? How will you begin to remember the Lord’s blessings? How has He watched over you?

Are you struggling right now? Can you recall times when the Lord was protecting you? Can you seek the Lord’s protection right now and thank Him for being your refuge?

Psalm 15

Today I would like to share Psalm 15 from the Passion Version of the Bible. I discovered this translation a couple of months ago and I really enjoy reading it.

Lord, who dares to dwell with you? Who presumes the privilege of being close to you, living next to you in your shining place of glory? Who are those who daily dwell in the life of the Holy Spirit? They are passionate and wholehearted, always sincere and always speaking the truth — for their hearts are trustworthy. They refuse to slander or insult others; they’ll never listen to gossip or rumors, nor would they ever harm another with their words. They will speak out passionately against evil and evil workers while commending the faithful ones who follow after truth. They make firm commitments and follow through, even at great cost. They never crush others with exploitation or abuse and they would never be bought with a bribe against the innocent. They will never be shaken; they will stand firm forever.

That right there is how I want to be – 100% sold out, living my life to the fullest, speaking passionately, committed to truth, standing firm. I don’t think this passage needs much commentary. It really stands all on its own. May the words of this Psalm spur us on to live our lives dwelling daily in the presence of the Lord.

Psalm 14

Chapter 14 spends a lot of time lamenting those who have chosen to reject God. Rather that focus on those who don’t follow God, I want to focus on God’s promises:

  • God is with those who obey Him
  • The Lord will protect His people
  • The Lord restores His people

God is with me – God will protect me – God will restore me

This is actually a very good synopsis of Job’s life. God was with Job even in the darkest time and he made sure the Job was protected from harm. In the end, when Job’s trial was over, he was restored to an even greater position – why? because he remained faithful.

Psalm 13

This Psalm is only six verses but it sure packs a lot in a little space. The anguish David is expressing is very evident. Verse three and four say “Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let me enemies gloat, saying, ‘We have defeated him!’ Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.” To say that David is at the end of his rope is an understatement but even in the midst of this anguish when he is questioning whether God is even listening to him, he doesn’t loose focus on who God is because he ends in verses five and six with the following statement:

But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because of his good to me.

I don’t know about you – but sometimes when I am struggling my focus tends toward the trial and away from God’s grace, mercy and love. I forget that the Lord is right there loving me unconditionally. I forget that rejoicing is one of the best ways to regain my focus. Here is the thing – it doesn’t matter how bad things get – God is trustworthy and full of unfailing love.