Psalm 90

Posted: April 8, 2020 by keystoneyouth in Psalm-A-Day

Psalm 90Start: Read Over Psalm 90 (Take your time. Read it multiple times. Make note of significant or repeated words). Then take some time to work though these questions.

 How many people could you name who were living 100 years ago? Take a moment and try to come up with a list without googling it.

  • I could come up with about 10 – all either presidents or famous historical figures.
  • If you search for how many people were alive in 1920 it says there were about 2 billion people living at that time. Stop and think about that for a moment, 100 years ago, there were about 2 billion people living, and you and I can name maybe 10-20 of them! How quick we are to forget that our time on this earth is short and we will soon be forgotten. Psalm 90 seeks to remind us and teach us to see what matters in light of this.

Vs. 1-2

How do these verses describe God?

  • God is eternal. As generations come and go, He remains a refuge. Before anything ever existed, God was there. From forever to forever He is God.

What makes it hard for us to wrap your head around that?

  • Take a moment and try to think of something that didn’t have a beginning and doesn’t have an end. Everything we see has a beginning and an end.
  • To think of a being, God, who has always existed and will always exist, who had no beginning and no end, is beyond our grasp. We can comprehend it but we can’t fully understand it.

Vs. 3-6

How do these verses describe humans (us included)?

  • In comparison to God, we are described as dust and as grass that is green in the morning and withered up by the evening. Even if a human lived for a thousand years, it would only be like a day in God’s sight.

The Bible often compares humans to grass. Why do you think that is? (See also Psalm 102:11; Isaiah 40:6-8; James 1:11)

 Vs.  7-11

What do these verses teach us about how God views our sin?

  • These verses speak about God’s anger and wrath toward sin. Moses has witnessed God’s anger against sin many times in his life, first against Pharaoh and Egypt, and then against the rebellious Israelites in the desert. Moses was no stranger to how devastating God’s anger can be.
  • The Bible consistently want us to see our sin how God sees it. And trying to ignore it, sweep it under the rug, and justify it does us no good. We must see how much we deserve God’s anger because of our sin if we are to learn to fear Him and worship Him (vs.11).

What do these verses teach us about the effects of sin on our lives?

  • They are teaching us that death and the shortness and struggle of life is a result of sin. It is not how God originally created the world. But because of our sin, our lives are like a sigh and even the best years of our short lives are still marked by sorrow and struggle.

 Vs. 12

What makes it difficult for us to “number our days” and see how short our lives are?

  • Because we feel healthy and think death is a long distance away, we tend to live as if our life on this earth will last forever. It’s only when death comes near or our bodies begin to break down that we often begin to seriously realize how short our lives is. Perhaps one of the gifts of coronavirus is that God will use it to teach us to number our days.

Why does Moses ask God to make us aware of how short our lives are?

  • Because wisdom can be found in knowing how short life is. That’s not always the case. Sometimes the shortness of life just causes people to live even more selfishly. But Moses is praying, and we should pray, that seeing the shortness of life would cause us to not waste our lives on selfish pursuits but to live wisely for God.

 Vs. 13-17

What does Moses call out for in these verses? How does that contrast with verses 7-11?

  • Moses calls out for God’s compassion. He asks God to satisfy us with His steadfast love, to give us joy, and to let us see His work and splendor. Moses knows we deserve God’s wrath and a life of struggle and sorrow, but he calls out for God’s favor a life of rejoicing in His steadfast love.

How does the gospel help us understand both verses 7-11 and verses 13-17?

  • It is because Jesus died on the cross that we can be confident God’s wrath for our sin is fully taken away. As 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “God has not destined us for wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” As a result, we have peace with God and so we are constant recipients of His steadfast love, compassion and favor. And because of Jesus’ resurrection, we are confident that the power of sin and death is broken and we will one day be with Jesus in everlasting joy. In the meantime, we still face the sorrow of struggle of life in a broken world, even as we have joy in knowing God and being recipients of His favor intermingled in with that sorrow. And we are called to recognize the shortness of our lives and live them in a way that makes much of Jesus.

 

Takeaway: This Psalm reminds us of the famous words of a missionary named Charles Studd: “Only one life ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

 Wrap-Up

  • Listen to “The Stand” by Hillsong Worship. Or if you’re looking for a great hymn, listen to “O God, Our Help In Ages Past” which is written with this Psalm in mind.
  • Pray verse 12. Ask God to help you see how short your life is and to respond with appropriate wisdom: Making the most of your short days by making much of Jesus.
  • Take a moment and consider how knowing that God is eternal and knowing that we look forward to eternal joy with Him should shape how we think, feel, and act in the midst of this coronavirus crisis.

Psalm 4

Posted: April 7, 2020 by keystoneyouth in Psalm-A-Day

Psalm 4

Start: Read Over Psalm 4 (Take your time. Read it multiple times. Make note of significant or repeated words). Then take some time to work though these questions.

 Have you ever urgently needed to get ahold of someone? Why were you so urgent to talk to them? How did eventually get ahold of that person?

  • This past February, my wife found a lump of fluid on my son’s head and so she quickly attempted to call me. I was in the middle of something with work and wasn’t able to pick up. So, she sent me a text with these words, “Call me as soon as possible.” There was something about the text that told me this is urgent. I’m guessing you’ve maybe done the same thing she did if you’ve urgently needed to talk to someone.
  • This Psalm opens up with David urgently crying out to God. Unlike some Psalms that start out with expressing confidence in God, this one simply starts out with, “Answer me when I call!” Yet, as we read through the whole Psalm, we see David moving from urgency to peace, or perhaps we could say having peace in the midst of urgency. I want to know how that does that happen?

Vs. 1  

How do we see David’s confidence expressed even in this first verse?

  • “You have given me relief when I was in distress.” David looks back and sees how God has come through in the past and it begins to bolster His confidence that God will come through in the present.

How does God’s past faithfulness increase present confidence in Him?

Vs.2-3

We get the image that David is under attack from enemies. Yet he has confidence in the face of his enemies’ attack. What do you notice in verse 3 that gives him confidence?

  • David says that because God has set apart the godly for Himself, He will hear David when he prays. David remembers that God has set him apart, chosen him, and made him part of His people. God will always pay special attention to those who He saves because they are “set apart for himself.”

Vs. 6

The circumstances seem so bad that some people (perhaps people who are currently with David) are wondering, “Who can change this? Who can show us good in the midst of this?” What do you notice about David’s response to this question?

  • God is the source of David’s joy. Specifically, God’s favor and approval on David as expressed in the words, “Let the light of your face shine on us, O LORD.”

How does this verse teach us that we can have joy in the midst of bad circumstances?

  • By remembering that God’s approval is better than any amount of money or material things. A smiling God is better than a soaring stock market. Knowing that God approves of you and delights in you is better than winning the lottery. Or for our case, knowing that we are loved and accepted by God is better than knowing that coronavirus will disappear.
  • I have to stop and ask myself: Do I really believe that? Do I really believe that God’s approval and love is better than money, success, stuff, freedom, food, people’s praise, and everything else I tend to look to for happiness in this life? The more I truly the believe that, the more circumstances will not be able to shake my trust in God.

Vs. 8

Put it altogether. Why does this Psalm teach us David is able to lie down and sleep in peace in the face of difficulty?

  • David sees how God has been faithful in the past, he knows that God pays special attention to him, and he believes that God’s favor is better than the best things in life.

 

I skipped over verses 4-5 on purpose. Because I wanted us to see the rest of the Psalm first and then go back to them. When we face increased pressures and difficulty in life it’s easier for us to get angry, snap, and act in sin. David recognizes that temptation in these verses.

 In what ways has being stuck at home and the added pressures of the past couple weeks made you impatient, stressed, or frustrated? Have you seen that come out in the way you treat the people around you right now (i.e. your family)?

  • David faced a similar tendency as he faced difficulty in this moment. And his words here are helpful to us. He talks to himself saying, “Be angry” (or we could say “Be stressed-out”) and do not sin. Instead trust in God and worship Him.

How does trust in God enable us to not sin and lash out when we are under pressure, overwhelmed, and stressed?

  • If we are confident in God’s care for us, confident that he will provide for us, confident that He will give us the grace to face whatever lies ahead, then our stress doesn’t have to boil over into sin, but it bubbles up in confident expectation that God will take care of us and give us all that we need in the midst of every circumstance.

 

Takeaway: David was confident that God would faithfully take care of him and continue to smile with approval on him in the midst of difficulty. How much more can we who have seen God’s faithfulness in the past death and resurrection of Jesus and in the future return of Jesus, have great confidence that God will care for us right here and now?

Wrap-Up:

  • Listen to “He Will Hold Me Fast” by Shane and Shane
  • Take a moment to reflect on God’s past faithfulness. Then take a moment to reflect on the amazing truth that God has set you apart for Himself and that He is watching over you with a smile right now in Christ.
  • Pray to God about the things that are stressing you out, frustrating you, or making you angry right now. Pray that God would help you to trust Him to take care of you and not lash out on the people who are around you.

Psalm 63

Posted: April 3, 2020 by keystoneyouth in Psalm-A-Day

Psalm 63

Start: Read Over Psalm 63 (Take your time. Read it multiple times. Make note of significant or repeated words). Then take some time to work though these questions.

 When you are going through something difficult, what is something you long for or something you use to motivate yourself through the difficulty?

  • One of the interesting (and pretty ridiculous) things I’ve noticed about myself is that if I’m out for a run and the run is starting to get really difficult, I motivate myself to keep going with the promise of a burger when I finish. It’s incredible (and again a little ridiculous) that the promise of eating a burger can actually keep me going on a run.
  • David finds himself in a far more difficult situation then an afternoon run, and he gives us an inside, behind-the-scenes glimpse for what he is longing for and what keeps him going in such difficult circumstances.

 

Look at verse 9 first. What do these verses teach us about the situation that David is in?

  • David tells us someone is trying to kill him. This could have been one of two circumstances in his life: either when King Saul was trying to kill him or when David’s very own son, Absalom, was trying to kill him. Both times, David was chased into the wilderness which is where he wrote this Psalm.
  • Take a moment and do a google images search for “Wilderness of Judah.” Look at some of the pictures to get a feel for where David is as he is writing this Psalm.

Vs. 1-2

What does David long for most as he is being chased and threatened with death? How does he describe this longing?

  • In this Psalm David doesn’t cry out for deliverance (although he seems confident in verses 10-11 that God will deliver him). He cries out for God. He wants God more than he wants to live. He wants to experience the comfort, love, and satisfaction of God’s presence more than he wants his circumstances to be changed.
  • I find that’s a good question to check myself with right now… “Do I long for God more than I long for coronavirus to pass and life to go back to the way it was?”

Vs. 3-5

How does David describe his experience of God’s presence in these verses?

  • “Your steadfast love is better than life.” “You satisfy me as with rich food.”
  • Look at Philippians 1:21 and John 6:35 for cross references to these statements.

What does David do in response to thinking about God’s faithful love and satisfying presence?

  • He worships! – “My lips glorify you”; “I will bless you”; “I will lift up my hands”; “My mouth will praise you with joyful lips.”
  • There is no greater act of worship to God, then when in the midst of difficulty people say, “Your steadfast love is better than life.” Or in other words, “You are better than life and anything I have in this life. I want you more than anything else.”
  • Or as John Piper puts it so well, “God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him, in the midst of loss, not prosperity.”

Vs.6-8

What is picture of what David is going through in verse 6?

  • He speaks of laying upon his bed and being awake in the middle of the night. He’s talking about when he faces sleepless nights.
  • Just because David loves God and declares that He is better than life and more satisfying than rich food doesn’t mean David is all the sudden free from the pressures, anxieties, and concerns that weigh down on us in this life.

What are some extra concerns, anxieties, or pressures that are weighing you down in this time and perhaps leading to sleepless nights?

Where does David find comfort in the midst of sleepless nights?

  • He meditates on who God is. He reflects on how God has been faithful and helped him in the past. And he takes comfort in knowing that God will protect him, be near to him, and hold onto him (See Isaiah 41:10 for a cross reference).
  • I know from my own personal experience of sleepless nights that this can be very difficult to do. But I also know that when I’m able to do this it brings far better comfort than turning on the TV, trying to read a book, or any other tactic of trying to drown out the concerns and fall asleep.

As David reflects on these things, he comes to the settled confidence that God will deliver him from his enemies (vs.10-11). The result is that he again rejoices and praises God.  How much more can we rejoice knowing that God will deliver us in Jesus even through even death? And if God’s steadfast love is better than life then we are able to say with Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”

 

Takeaway: Knowing and believing that God is better than life and more satisfying than anything else can enable us to worship Him in the most difficult of times. And it can motivate us to run to Him for comfort in the midst of worries, anxieties, and uncertainty.

Wrap-Up:

  • Listen to “Christ Is Mine Forevermore” by City Alight
  • Take this Psalm and turn it into your own prayer before God. Pray that you would long for Him more than anything else. Pray that He would satisfy you with His presence. Pray that His love would be better than life or anything in this life. Pray that he would comfort you and hold onto you in the midst of all your concerns and anxieties.
  • Take time to think of one way that God has helped you in the past when things seemed desperate. Use this to bolster your faith and praise Him.

Psalm 39

Posted: April 1, 2020 by keystoneyouth in Psalm-A-Day

Psalm 39

Start: Read Over Psalm 39 (Take your time. Read it multiple times. Make note of significant or repeated words). Then take some time to work though these questions.

 Have you ever started doing something, only to quickly realize that maybe you got in over your head?

  • I felt that way with this Psalm. This is a difficult Psalm. I started working through it and then felt in over my head. But I think it has some important things to teach us.
  • The context of this Psalm is that David is facing some sort of suffering. We aren’t sure what the exact suffering is, but David believes whatever he is facing is God’s discipline for something.

 Vs. 1-3

In these verses David attempts to be silent in the face of his suffering but finally is no longer able to and speaks up. What do you notice about David’s reason for trying to remain silent?

  • He is aware that in speaking he may dishonor God. What he says might be sinful or might give people a reason to speak badly about God.
  • In verse 3 David says he can no longer be silent in the face of suffering. But it should be instructive to us that when he opens his mouth he does so in prayer to God.

What are some ways that in speaking about suffering, Christians might actually dishonor God?

  • Perhaps by giving trite or cliché answers, sort of like what Job’s friends did in the book of Job. Perhaps by being too quick to share our opinion. This Psalm does not ultimately say that we need be silent in the face of suffering. But it shows us it might be good to be silent for a little bit and not speak too quickly.

Vs. 4-6

  • Notice that David’s prayer first takes the form of asking God to teach him before he goes on to pray that God would relieve his suffering in vs. 7-12

How does David speak about human life in these verses? Take note of the descriptions he uses.

  • The younger you are, the easier it is to think that you will live forever. I’m 30 years old and I still tend to think that way. Suffering is a tool God uses to remind us how short and fragile our lives are.

What are some reasons it’s good for us to be reminded of how short and fragile our lives are?

  • It causes me to stop and ask, “Am I using the short time I’ve been given well. Am I investing my time, energy, and money in what is truly important or in “heaping up wealth and stuff that will quickly disappear?”
  • It causes me to remember that my hope is not in this life. It’s in Christ and in the promise that after this life flies by, I will be with Him.

Vs. 7-11

What phrases in these verses show us that David recognizes that God’s hand is behind his suffering?

  • David seems to identify his suffering in this moment as a form of discipline from God for his sin. But whether the suffering is God’s discipline or just a trial meant to grow us (James 1:3-4), it’s clear that God’s hand is behind all our suffering.

Why might it be difficult to see God’s hand behind our suffering? Why is it comforting to see God’s hand behind our suffering?

  • Acknowledging that God is behind our suffering brings up all sorts of difficult questions that we don’t always have the answers for, with “Why God?” at the forefront of them. But it is because David sees that God is behind his suffering that he can say in verse 7, “My hope is in you.” The same is true for us. It is because God is in control of the suffering in this world that we can both say, “Why God?” and “My hope is in you!” at the same time.

Read Matthew 6:19-21. What is the connection between these and vs. 11?

  • God uses suffering as a tool to teach us not to lay up treasures here on earth. In other words, sometimes God takes away earthly goods in order to remind us to see Him as our greatest treasure and to use what we’ve been given on this earth to glorify Him.

Vs.  12-13

What do you notice about the closing of this Psalm?

  • This Psalm closes in desperation rather than in hope. David acknowledged his hope earlier in verse 7, but now he closes with a note of desperation.
  • I think it’s interesting that we see this swing between hope and desperation in this Psalm. That feels natural in our suffering. There are moments where we will be hopeful and confident, and then there are moments where we will be desperate. God does not shy away from our honest desperation, but rather invites us to bring it to Him with boldness and honesty.
  • What an incredible Psalm to give voice to our thoughts and feelings in the face of suffering!

 

Takeaway: Suffering should lead us to see how short our time is, to loosen the grip on the things we try to accumulate in this life, and to call out honestly and desperately to God who is behind and in control of all our suffering.

Wrap-Up:

  • Listen to “God Moves In A Mysterious Way” by Jeremy Riddle (Originally by William Cowper). If you have time, look up the story behind the song.
  • Take a moment to ask God to teach you in the midst of all that is going on. Ask Him to teach you to see how short life is and that this would reshape your priorities in life. Ask Him that he would increase your love for Him and decrease your love for stuff in this world that can be taken away.
  • What are some reasons that you have hope in the face of suffering? What are some reasons suffering causes you to feel desperate? Take some time and write those down.

Psalm 19

Posted: March 31, 2020 by keystoneyouth in Psalm-A-Day

Psalm 19

Start: Read Over Psalm 19 (Take your time. Read it multiple times. Make note of significant or repeated words). Then take some time to work though these questions.

 

Vs.1-6 – God speaks through Creation.

Do you remember the feeling of going on an Easter Egg hunt as a child? What was so exciting about that moment?

  • For me it was the joy of finding the eggs, and then opening them up to see what was inside. The fact that I knew there would be some treasure inside of each egg made me race around looking for more eggs to find and open.
  • In the first six verses of this Psalm, David is telling us that the world is full of Easter Eggs. If we just look closely and have our eyes opened by God, these things open up to show us the glory of God. Everything from the largest star to the smallest blade of grass shouts, “Look at how awesome God is!”

Verse 3 tells us that although the message of God’s creation is clear, not all people hear it. In other words, although all people see the world around them, not all people see God’s glory in it.  What are some reasons we might miss this?

  • Perhaps one of the reasons we miss God’s glory in creation is because we just don’t slow down enough. We rush from one thing to another. We are weighed down by all sorts of burdens and busyness. And the sun sometimes rises and sets without us ever stopping to hear it saying, “See the glory of your God!”
  • Perhaps one of the gifts of this moment, is being forced to slow down. And in the midst of that slow down, maybe we might make a little more time to hear God’s voice as we observe the world he has made.

What are some of your favorite parts of the world God has created? What parts of His creation lead you to praise Him?

 David draws our attention to the Sun.  Why do you think he describes the Sun as being like a groom or an athlete?

  • Each day the sun breaks forth rejoicing in the opportunity to point people to God. Everyday God sets loose the sun again to proclaim His greatness. I think this quote by G.K Chesterton comparing God to a little child is fitting for these verses.
  • “Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.”
  • How awesome is that picture? Every day creation puts on a theatrical encore which displays how great our God is!

 

Vs.7-11 – God speaks through His written Word.

Look over verses.7-9 slowly and answer these three questions:

  • What words David uses to describe God’s Word?
  • How does he describe the characteristics of God’s Word?
  • How does he describe the benefits of God’s Word for us?

 What is your response to how David praises God’s Word in verses 10-11?

  • I am convicted by how David describes God’s Word as more valuable then wealth and sweeter than the sweetest food. My own attitude and approach to God’s Word sadly doesn’t amount to this at many times. And yet as I read those words I long for more of that type of attitude to God’s Word. I want God’s Word to be more valuable than anything else to me. I want it to be so sweet that I slow down and savor it. I want reading God’s Word to become more and more of a delight and less and less of a duty.

 

Vs. 12-14 – David’s response to God’s speech.

Why do you think David shifts to asking God for forgiveness and grace in these verses?

  • As David comes in contact with a glorious God, he is reminded of his own sinfulness, much of which remains hidden even to him. He pleads with God to forgive him, and he pleads with God to change him. The right approach and response to God’s Word is always humility and neediness.
  • God’s Word always reveals how awesome He is and how sinful we are. Nowhere is this clearer than in the gospel. God speaks by His own Son (Hebrews 1:1-4) to show us His Glory, convict us of our sin, and provide us with grace.

 

Takeaway: God speaks. This Psalm leaves no doubt about it. There may be times where it feels like God is speaking loudly and clearly to us, and there may be times where it feels like He is distant and silent. This Psalm makes it clear to us, however, that God is speaking every day to us. God speaks every day through creation and God speaks every day though His written Word. And God has ultimately spoken to us through His Son. God speaks. Will we slow down enough to listen and hear him speak? Will we humble ourselves as we hear His voice?

Wrap-Up:

  • Listen to “Awake My Soul” by Chris Tomlin
  • Go out for a walk outside today and just observe how great God is in all that He has created big and small.
  • Spend some time praying to God asking Him that He would make His Word more delightful to you and that your response to His Word would be one of seeing His Glory and your neediness.

Psalm 27

Posted: March 27, 2020 by keystoneyouth in Psalm-A-Day

Psalm 27

Start: Read Over Psalm 27 (Take your time. Read it multiple times. Make note of significant or repeated words). Then take some time to work though these questions.

 

When was the last time that you felt desperate or helpless?

  • There are all sorts of things that can cause us to feel desperate or helpless. It may be a certain situation we are facing; it may be a feeling within us that we can’t seem to shake; or it may be a sense of being overwhelmed and in over our heads.
  • Jon Bloom titles a reflection on this Psalm, “Desperate is Normal.” He says, “The Bible is a field manual for the normal, embattled, desperate Christian life. God has mercifully packed in not only with examples and teaching, but also with songs and prayers for our trials. And we need songs and prayers to prayers to provide us words for the chaos, wen anxiety and confusion fragment our thoughts.”[1]
  • The Bible and this Psalm is not for people who think they have everything figured out and are cruising through life. The Bible and this Psalm are for people who are desperate and in need of help. It’s good to be in that place.

 

In verses 1-3 David lays out his source of courage in the midst of things that might cause him to fear.What is it about God that gives David courage?

  • Because God of God’s ever-present protection, David says he will have courage in the midst of the most dire circumstances: an army surrounding him and war arising against him.

 

What does David’s most urgent request in this Psalm?

  • 4-5 tell us his most urgent request, his deepest desire, is God. He wants to be near to God, to be satisfied with God, and to be led and guided by God. In desperation David cries out for more of God.
  • It’s really easy for me right now to have my deepest desire be just let coronavirus disappear and everything go back to normal. It’s easy for my number one concern to be, when go I get back to life as it was before all of this hit a couple weeks ago. This Psalm teaches me my deepest desire, and my number one prayer to God should be, “God draw me closer to you in the midst of this. Let me see and experience more of you. Let my faith in you grow stronger.”
  • There’s nothing wrong with praying that God would stop the coronavirus and make it go away. But I have to check myself and ask, “Do I want that so that God would be glorified? Or do I want that just so I can go back to life as it was?” In other words is my deepest desire God or a life of ease and comfort?

 

In verses 7-10 David cries out to God for help. He is confident God won’t abandon him in the midst of what he is facing, but he also desperately needs God’s help to keep going. What ways do you need God’s help right now to keep going?

  • At times I’m not even sure how I most need God’s help in the midst of this, I just know that I desperately need His help. I’ve myself just saying, “God you know what I need. I feel lost and helpless. Please help me.”

 

David calls out in verses 11-12 for God to lead and guide him. He recognizes he is ignorant and doesn’t fully understand how to respond as his enemies attack him. Where do you most feel the need for God to lead and guide you right now?

  • It’s important to recognize that we don’t need to have this all figured out. It’s okay to be confused. It’s okay to not be sure if we are responding well. It’s okay to not be sure how to use our time and schedule our lives. It’s okay to be unsure of how do we love our neighbors while also social distancing. God doesn’t expect us to have everything figured out, but He wants us to cry out to him for guidance as we face these difficulties.

 

What gives David hope as he closes out this Psalm?

  • God will be good to him. Because of that he can wait patiently in the face of difficulty while continuing to express confidence and trust in God. David doesn’t know how all this will work out, but he knows that God will be good to him.
  • We don’t know how everything that is happening right now will work out. But we know that God will be good to us no matter what. That should be a great source of hope for us!

 

Wrap-Up:

  • Listen to “Psalm 27 (One Thing)” by Shane and Shane.
  • Try to Memorize verses 1-5 of this Psalm. These would be great verses to commit to memory and to pray and remind ourselves of right now.
  • Spend some time writing down the ways that you feel helpless and desperate right now. Then spend some time just calling out to God to help you.

[1] https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/desperate-is-normal

Psalm 16

Posted: March 26, 2020 by keystoneyouth in Psalm-A-Day

Psalm 16

Start: Read Over Psalm 16 (Take your time. Read it multiple times. Make note of significant or repeated words). Then take some time to work though these questions.

If you had to come up with a list of things that make you happy, what would that list include? 

  • My list would include family, friends, freedom, free time, good movies and books, people’s praise, money, going out to eat, running, and much more.

Now think, how many over those things have either been cut back or lost to some degree over the past 14 days?

  • Perhaps one of the things God wants to show and teach us in the midst of this, is that we don’t “need” as much as we think we do in order to be happy. That in reality, we only need Him. This is what David is trying to teach us in Psalm 16. He is trying to teach us that only God makes us truly, deeply, and forever happy. Other things (people, stuff, circumstances) may provide a temporary happiness, but eventually it fades or disappears.

 

Why do you think David says in verse 2, “I have no good apart from you?

  • Clearly David experienced a lot of other good things in his life. He was a king with all sorts of wealth and power. But he seems to be saying that knowing God was so much better than these things, that they seem worthless in comparison with Him.

 

Verse 4 talks about the sorrows of people who run after other Gods. We all have a tendency to take good things and make them more important with God. Have the last 14 days exposed anything that you’ve made more important than God?

  • One of the things God has exposed in me is how much I think I need to be in control in order to be content and happy. I think that I need to be able to plan and have control over my schedule and my time to be happy. That sense of control is getting blown up and I’m seeing how little control over things I really have.

 

In this Psalm David gives us some implications that come from seeing God as his greatest good.

  1. He loves to be around other people who love God (vs 3). How have you found yourself missing getting to gather together with other Christians during this time?

 

  1. He is completely content (vs.5-6) and at peace (vs.7-8). Are there ways that you have been feeling discontent in the midst of all that is happening? How might seeing God as your source of joy and provision change that?

 

  1. He looks confidently towards the future because David knows that God will never abandon him (vs.9-10). What were some things you were looking forward to that may no longer happen? How does seeing God as your greatest good help you face the disappointment of that?
    • My wife and I were planning to take a trip to Italy and Switzerland at the end of May. I was really looking forward to getting to visit those countries and have some time away together. We just cancelled everything last week. It’s disappointing. But the reality is that although that trip would have been lots of fun, it would have come and gone quickly. I may never get to see Italy or Switzerland now, and I may end up missing out on other good things in the future, but because I know God, I can confidently say that I won’t ultimately miss out on anything good. Knowing Him and being with Him one day will far outweigh any disappointments we face in this life.

 

  1. As David looks to the future, he sees the best is always yet to come. In what ways is this true for the Christian? How does this bring comfort to you right now?
    • To know and love God is a path to ever increasing joy, both now in this life and ultimately in the life to come. Jesus gave up His life for us so that we can have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). The more that we can say, “We have no good apart from you Jesus,” the more we will experience happiness in this life even in and through suffering and difficulty.

 

Take-Away:

  • Listen to “Found in You” by Vertical Worship
  • Over the next 24 hours, try to take note of every good thing you experience. Pause shortly to praise God as the one who gives every good gift to you.
  • Pray this prayer by Tim Keller from his book Songs of Jesus: “Lord, I want the gifts of your hand more than the glory of your face. I can root my happiness in amusements, music, food, or nice weather. But let suffering enter the picture, and they show themselves as the tawdry baubles that they are. Without your constant presence and favor, no thing is a ‘good thing.’ So I receive them with thanks, but I rest my heart and hope in you.”