Comfort From the Psalms

Comfort From the Psalms

King David is probably the most famous of all of Israel’s ancient kings. The youngest of his family he began life as a shepherd – a lowly occupation. David was a very talented musician, poet, leader and warrior. He was dependable, a loyal friend, kept his promises and was very zealous for God but in his personal life blew it big time.

The Psalms contain a collection of 150 poems and songs of which 75 are attributed to David. They are not compiled in chronological order but put together by themes. Davids’ poems are rich with emotion whether begging for protection and mercy or in praise to God. We can learn a lot from studying the life of David in these hard days and we can take great comfort reading about God’s faithfulness to him. David’s feelings are not sugar coated but sometimes raw and that is why we can identify with this “man after God’s own heart”.

Needing Assurance and Comfort – Psalm 23 – written by a former shepherd, David shares that God is the Good Shepherd who cares for, leads, heals and provides for His people in all circumstances. A favorite psalm in times of trouble or grief.

Dysfunctional Family – Psalm 2 was written when Absalom, one of his sons, amassed an army to kill him and take over the kingdom. David had 8 wives and 7 sons listed in 2 Samuel which was against God’s command and a pure recipe for jealousy and conflict. He showed favoritism, failed to discipline his children and did not show love or justice toward them.

When Life Isn’t Fair – Psalm 37 encourages us to stop looking at “the other guy” and comparing what seems unfair but tells us to keep doing the right thing. God sees our hearts and actions .

Praising God for Protection and Victory – God is our Rock of refuge in the most difficult circumstances – written after Saul dies and David secures the throne (see also Ps 27 – Our Confidence is in God)

Guilty as Charged A Prayer of Repentance – Psalm 51 – David really blew it! He was where he shouldn’t be, lusted after Bathsheba, committed adultery, got her pregnant and then had the faithful warrior husband killed in battle. How low could he go? His sin greatly affected others. He pours out his heart asking forgiveness and restoration – and God granted his request but there were still consequences – the child died. Psalm 103 is praise for Forgiveness.

Feeling Alone – God’s Omnipresence – Psalm 139 – We cannot run from God or hide from Him. God is our Creator Who knew us before we were born. God cares about us and will bring comfort to our hearts.

These are only a few of the many passages that speak to our very own experience. The Bible is not a dead book but is living and powerful. No matter what circumstances you are facing today there is a message from God, a life lesson or a promise for you within the pages of His Book. Take a look for yourselves and see !

When Crisis Strikes Your Town

When Crisis Strikes Your Town

Our town is in mourning. Four teens , all friends and athletes, were returning from a birthday party when a dark road, a big tree and excessive speed ended their ride and futures. A fifth teen lies in the hospital – his life hanging in the balance.

church memorialFriends of the victims called the local parish and organized a memorial service.  “It’s cathartic because you have to name it,” said Pastor James Mazzone. “You have to put it out there. You have to say, I’m grieving, I’m angry maybe, I’m confused. And when you do that when you share it with other people, it makes it easier.”

A local evangelical church also held a community service to pray for the families, the 5th young man who is in critical care and all the first responders. They offered their Pastoral and counseling staff to be at the high school to meet with grieving students.  A parent group has organized a go fund me page and gathered people to make ribbons to show support as a town for the families.

One of the definitions of community is, “a group of people living together in one place, especially one practicing common ownership”. We come together to mourn the loss of promising life, to remember and comfort one another. These boys were “our” kids.

Where do you go when tragedy strikes? What fills the hurting and questioning heart with peace and comfort? Tragic accidents happen – especially this time of year when young people feel invincible and carefree.

The Psalms echo what our hearts feel…

1 O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer!2 From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed       Psalms 61:1-2 (NLT)

Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, hug-grief“Where is this God of yours?”   4 My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be….: 5 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!          Psalms 42:3-6 (NLT)

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.    Psalms 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalms 147:3 (NLT)

I wonder about the young man in the hospital and his family. Their names are being protected from the press.  They are grieving too.  Since he was the driver, if he recovers from his physical wounds, his life will  be forever changed. Will people offer him forgiveness and support? His life matters too.

We cry out “WHY?”  Wasn’t God watching? Doesn’t He care?

jesus-wept2In the book of Luke we are told that Jesus wept. He wept because His friend Lazarus died. He wept because His friends were so distraught. They said – if you had been here sooner, Lazarus wouldn’t have died!  He cried even though He knew that Lazarus would be raised from the dead.

So, yes dear one. God is watching and His heart is crying out for us to come to Him. Oh how He longs to comfort and restore us. He understands our pain.

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.           Heb 4:14-16 (NLT)

Jesus promised a gift to those who believe. So come to Him.   “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.       John 14:27 (NLT)

             Give Them All to Jesus   (Chorus)

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus.

Shattered dreams, wounded hearts and broken toys.

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus

And He will turn your sorrows into joy.