The Promises of God: A Shield

“He, therefore, teaches us by his example, that as often as we are weighed down by adversity, or involved in very great distress, we ought to meditate upon the promises of God, in which the hope of salvation is held forth to us, so that ending ourselves by this shield, we may break through all the temptations which assail us.” -John Calvin on Psalm 4

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‘Take it to the Lord’

“The Psalms are not only the longest book of the Bible; they are also the most varied. All life, in all its variety and complexity, is represented here. Yet all this multiplicity can be brought under one heading: ‘take it to the Lord.’ You know how you can take a mirror and so angle it to the sun that sunlight can be re-directed into a dark corner— or wherever? The Psalms teach us to set our lives at an angle, making sure our lives are so ‘angled’ that everything is at once transmitted into the Lord’s presence, and put into the context of what is true about him.” -Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament

The Priority of the Psalms

“I’ve also been interested in some of the evaluations of church historians, which have showed that during those periods when the church flourished, when great spiritual vitality became manifest, fest, and when worship reached its apogee-in short, during periods of special renewal-the Psalms were at the heart and center of the liturgy of the church and the devotional life of the people. Clearly, those who learn to meditate deeply on the Psalms experience the supreme Old Testament model of prayer that is provoked by God the Holy Spirit. So I would suggest that if you really want to learn how to pray and to discover the kinds of prayers that are pleasing to God, you should immerse yourselves in the Psalms.” -R.C. Sproul

Worried? Start here.

“Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.” (3 v 1)
Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts. (12 v 1-2)
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me? (13 v 1-2)
We have looked at just three of 150 psalms! While David does not end his cries and prayers here, he does begin them here— at a place of desperation and hopelessness. Are you able to talk to God in this way? The psalms teach us to seek to make sense of what has happened or is happening within the context of faith in and conversation with God. Their utter honesty shows you that you can talk to God very honestly. If you are going to replace your worries with peace, you must start here. Begin to talk to God.” -Tim Lane, Living without Worry: How to replace anxiety with peace