But God! (Bible Ponderings #5)

Welcome to “Bible Ponderings #5” which finds me in the Psalms in the chronological reading plan. Every few weeks or so I hope to toss out there what I’m currently reading and invite you to ponder with me!

Do you have a favourite Psalm? What emotions does it convey?

There are Psalms of happiness, sheer exuberance, sadness, full-blown despair, indignation, anger, grief, joy, wonder, sorrow, and every emotion in between. The Psalms express every condition of the human soul. Here we are thousands of years later, and the emotions expressed by the Pslamists are still relevant.

Do you recall a difficult time in your life when God led you to a Psalm which seemed to express your very heart?

I remember a particular time when a member of our family was being harassed. Psalm 143 was our cry and we felt to keep silent and endure. This person we’d once accepted into our home was spreading a lie and it was heartbreaking. Sure enough, that person was eventually exposed as a liar and silenced. They apologised to us several years later when the Lord did a remarkable work in their heart.

The words of the Psalms have ministered to me too many times to count, and it’s like visiting with an old familiar friend when I re-read the words of my favourites such as Psalm 103, Psalm 91, and Psalm 27.

On a practical level, the Psalms teach us that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. Plus it’s okay to honestly express how we’re feeling to God…He can take it!

Is there something you’re going through right now that you need to find emotional expression for? Are you afraid? Disappointed? Hurting? Worried? There is a Psalm that will help you express your heart to God.

Just as King David did, we can express how we’re feeling, but then we need to remind ourselves of God’s perspective, His promises, and His character. David often did this by inserting the phrase “But God…” (or something similar). After he’d first expressed his raw emotions it was as if he was reminding his soul of the real truth of the matter, and we can do the same. Here’s just one example: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever…” Psalm 73:26

In your current circumstances what will be your “but God” reminder to self?

Something to ponder!

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29 thoughts on “But God! (Bible Ponderings #5)

  1. Jo, this is well said. I love the Psalms for all the reasons you describe. I have some with dated prayer notes in the margin when it was used through a particular situation.
    In response to your, “Do you recall . . .” question. Psalm 16:8-11 ministered to me when I had some heart issues that sent me to the hospital emergency a few times. Verse eight was what I clung to, “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8, NIV). The, “I will not be shaken,” part was what I needed. I kept praying it and proclaiming it over myself. Those words had a calming effect on my mind and body every time my flesh was rattled.
    Your Bible pondering pairs well with my post “Steamed” both about emotions. I love it. Jehovah bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a great testimony Manette! Often it’s just one little phrase that we can cling to but it’s enough for our soul to cling to in order to calm the mind, just as you say.
      Your post was excellent Manette. I encourage others to read it too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy

    โ€œBut Godโ€ โ€ฆ a wonderful way to point out what the Psalms are all about. So many Psalms are laments but as the psalmists work through their feelings and pour their hearts out to God their perspective shifts to His power and they end with praising and worshipping Him. I have so many favorite psalms and read them often but in the last few years of waiting through so many hospital stays for my husband Psalm 33 โ€ฆ the last paragraph about waiting in hope speaks to me. We have waited in hope through many difficulties.

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  3. I love the Psalms for all the reasons you mentioned. And they are my go to place when I tend to feel spiritually dry. They help me stay in the word. But God- the two best words to hear or read.
    โ€œWith man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.โ€
    Blessings Jo ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Lord often directs me to a Psalm when Iโ€™m praying. It seems like the whole tapestry of life is there contained. My Dadโ€™s favourite verses were these from Psalm 84 โ€œFor a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.โ€
    Psalm 84:10-11

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      1. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Ps 34:18. This particular verse from the Psalms has tenderly ministered to me over and over through the years during seasons in the valley. Thank you for your wise words. The Psalms definitely have words for every human need and experience. Blessings to you, Jo.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love 103, 91, and 27, too. (I love the way 103 contains “self-talk” long before modern psychologists thought they’d “discovered” it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    I put Psalm 91 to music when my children were little and used to sing it to them when they couldn’t sleep. It blessed me so much when years later I was outside my granddaughter’s bedroom and heard my daughter singing her the same song. โค
    Psalm 139 is another one I love. I pray that one daily over a wayward child, using her name instead of "me," and it gives me peace, knowing that God knows all about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s brilliant Annie! And yes, I agree about what you say…the bible actually has many principles which counsellors use but God’s Word discovered it first! Keeping our eyes focused moving toward the goal is another one (solution focused therapy)! How beautiful that your daughter sings Psalm 91 to her daughter, what a great legacy. I pray that it’s only a matter of time before your other daughter can no longer resist God’s almighty love for her. Bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

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