The Book of Psalms is recognized as the Bible’s songbook. Jesus had a very intimate relationship with all 150 psalms, relying on each to deal with all the situations He faced, including His own death. The Songs of Jesus, written by Tim Keller with his wife Kathy Keller is a devotional book based on the authors ongoing reading of the entire book of Psalms. Kathy Keller used the book as a support during her extended illness. By reading this entire book over the years, and recording their inspiration in prayer journals, they were able to draw insight and gain wisdom to apply to their own lives. This same wisdom can be applied to all the circumstances and trials we face. Here are four powerful Psalms of Jesus from The Songs of Jesus that you can apply to the tough situations you face on your faith journey.
In Times of Waiting: Read Psalm 6
1 LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 2 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony. 3 My soul is in deep anguish. How long, LORD, how long? 4 Turn, LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. 5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave? 6 I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. 7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. 8 Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. 9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish; they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
Waiting can be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with extraordinary pain and sickness. The authors point out in their reflection that “’How long, O Lord, how long?’ is the cry of someone who has walked with more pain and sickness than he thought he could ever bear.” While times of waiting can be especially difficult, God hears the prayers of the faltering because of His “unfailing love” for us, referenced in verse 4. While David hardly has the heart to pray, we know from this psalm that his tears are not pointless. Verses 8-9 reference an answering touch from God, reflective of God’s ongoing presence. Verse 10 is an assurance that God is listening, even when the circumstances haven’t changed. We can endure in our times of waiting because God walks with us.
1Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.”And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
How to Forgive: Read Psalm 32: 1-5
The people who are happiest in this world are the ones who recognize the power of forgiveness, not only being aware of the need to be forgiven but also experiencing it. Forgiveness begins with honesty. Verse 5 tells us how important it is to uncover and admit our sin, then to admit we are freely forgiven through Jesus. When we release ourselves from objective guilt, we can then find the peace we need to overcome.
For Wisdom: Read Psalm 49:1-4
1Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world, 2 both low and high, rich and poor alike: 3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding. 4 I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle.
When it comes to making crucial decisions in our lives, the authors share how important it is to not just comply with rules but to perceive God’s will for our lives. To be truly wise isn’t to trust in earthly things like wealth, or to go against the grain of how God made things but to fully trust in God’s assurances. We need to let go of behaviors that bear no fruit and ask God to guide us in our decision-making. Use the resources He’s given you for discernment.
For Assurance: Read Psalm 132:11-18
11The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath he will not revoke: “One of your own descendants I will place on your throne. 12 If your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them, then their sons will sit on your throne for ever and ever.” 13 For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling, saying, 14 “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.15 I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food. 16 I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will ever sing for joy. 17 “Here I will make a horn[b] grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one.18 I will clothe his enemies with shame, but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”
This Psalm is an assurance of God’s constant presence in our lives. His promise is an assurance that He will never leave us. God promised that a descendent of David would bring God’s presence in a way he could never have anticipated. That promise is Jesus. He comes to bring the presence of God in our lives and we are the dwelling place. The wonderful assurance God brings us is that He will never leave us. When we allow the Spirit to speak this truth in our lives, we will never be disappointed.