God created man with emotions and designed us with many ways to express them. Our bodies were made to move (we can dance) and we have musical instruments built within us. We were created to worship and praise God!
The Book of Psalms is a collection of musical poems and prayers. They were written with the intent to be sung. They express hope and despair, faith and fear.
“Let your thoughts be psalms, your prayers incense, and your breath praise.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon
David authored 75 of the 150 Psalms, his first being Psalm 3. In this Psalm, David expressed great emotion over the enemies rising up against him. Although troubled, He remained hopeful and ever faithful.
“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, ‘There is no help for him in God.’ Selah. But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my Glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of then thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” Psalm 3:1-6 (NKJV)
Why not try writing your own psalm? Write it from the standpoint of faith, trusting God no matter what. Write with honest candor because God already knows our pain and strife before we speak of it. Consider any circumstances that have been particularly on your mind? Finances? Relationships? Lost loved ones? Health issues?
- Spend time in prayer before you begin.
- Select a theme or focus. Do you want to write a psalm of praise that thanks God for His steadfast love and provision in the midst of a struggle? Or, maybe you want to express a fear and confess a sin?
- Begin your personal psalm with a praise or question. “How wonderful are the provisions of God for they are endless!” “Why must I suffer such heartache? Will You not heal my spirit, O God?”
4) Try using similes and metaphors. “My life is disappearing like smoke.” “Life is a highway.”
Journaling is a great way to grow spiritually. It requires discipline, time, and reflection. When we journal we have to pay attention to God. Writing helps us put feelings into words. It can reveal sin areas we need to work on and it can change an ungrateful heart into a heart of thanksgiving.
After writing our feelings down, we should ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any hidden sins that need to be confessed. I promise if self-pity is practiced, sin is not far away. It’s okay to express personal fears and feelings of hopelessness but we must not wallow in them lest the devil find a foothold. Instead, we should run to Scripture, which will always negate our fears, hopelessness, and negative attitudes by revealing truth. The living Word will enlighten our minds and encourage our hearts. Remember, feelings are often deceitful. The enemy uses our feelings to plant seeds of doubt and confusion.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21 (NIV)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
As I mentioned before, we were made to worship God. Writing a personal psalm of praise will honor God and change a negative attitude into a humble expression of thanks. Singing unto the Lord in the midst of heartache is a pleasing sacrifice of praise and a true act of worship.
Our Christian walk requires many conscious decisions to trust God as we move through seasons of pain and loss. Will bitterness or joy be your companion during hard times? It is a choice.
May worship and praise be always on your lips. May a personal psalm come to mind each and every day. I pray that your psalms are songs of worship that glorify the one true God who loves you beyond understanding.