When I ask someone what they’re reading in their Quiet Times, especially when they’re not in a structured study, I often get the response, “I’m spending time in the Psalms.”

I think we’re drawn to the Psalms because we can see ourselves in the words expressed by the psalmists. We can identify with their struggles, battles, discouragement, pains, and insecurities. The Psalms comfort us because we realize we’re not the only person who feels these things.

The Psalms have always been one of my favorite go-to books in the Bible. They were especially meaningful to me during my mom’s final year. Many times I cried out to God, as the psalmists did, and asked, “Why? How long will this go on?”

Every psalm points us to God.They challenge us to do several things.

Be occupied with God.

The Psalms magnify and exalt Him as the Sovereign Creator and Ruler of the universe. The more occupied with God we are, the less the world can distract us or make us anxious.

How occupied with God are you? What occupies your time and attention? What distracts you from being occupied with God?

Spend time praising God.

The Psalms teach us how to praise God as the authors model praise in all situations.

Do you praise God from the heart, or has your praise become mechanical, just repeating words without thinking about the meaning? Do you spend more time praising Him or asking Him for things?  

Trust God.

Many of the psalms begin with discouragement and questioning God. But by the end of the psalm, we see their trust in God as they turn to praise, regardless of their situation. They teach us how to trust God in every conceivable situation that life throws at us.

How do you respond to God in the midst of difficult situations? Do you trust His hand, even when you don’t understand why?

Pour out your heart to God.

God wants us to pour out our hearts to Him and be honest with how we’re feeling.The Psalms teach us how to do that in a positive way. We can be honest with God about our feelings, discouragements, fears, but we should always turn back to praise, as the psalmists did.

Are you pouring out your heart to God and being honest with Him? If not, what’s holding you back?

The Psalms express our emotions and address our needs. They are soothing to the soul. Let God use them to comfort and strengthen you as you draw near to Him.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a favorite psalm? Why is it special?