The Psalms speak to our hearts in a very unique way. They speak to so many different emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, joy, hopelessness, loneliness, and contentment just to name a few. The book of Psalms really meets us where we are in life, and so we’re able to relate to it so easily.
Here is just a short list of some of the emotions that the Psalms touches on:
- Loneliness: “I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalms 25:16).
- Love: “I love you, O Lord, my strength” (Psalms 18:1).
- Awe: “Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him” (Psalms 33:8).
- Sorrow: “My life is spent with sorrow” (Psalms 31:10).
- Regret: “I am sorry for my sin” (Psalms 38:18).
- Contrition: “A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalms 51:17).
- Discouragement and turmoil: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me” (Psalms 42:5)?
- Shame: “Shame has covered my face” (Psalms 44:15).
- Exultation: “In your salvation how greatly he exults” (Psalms 21:1).
- Marveling: “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalms 118:23).
- Delight: “His delight is in the law of the Lord” (Psalms 1:2).
- Joy: “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalms 4:7).
- Gladness: “I will be glad and exult in you” (Psalms 9:2).
- Fear: “Serve the Lord with fear” (Psalms 2:11).
- Anger: “Be angry, and do not sin” (Psalms 4:4).
- Peace: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep” (Psalms 4:8).
- Grief: “My eye wastes away because of grief” (Psalms 6:7).
- Desire: “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted” (Psalms 10:17).
- Hope: “Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you” (Psalms 33:22).
- Brokenheartedness: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalms 34:18).
- Gratitude: “I will thank you in the great congregation” (Psalms 35:18).
- Zeal: “Zeal for your house has consumed me” (Psalms 69:9).
- Pain: “I am afflicted and in pain” (Psalms 69:29).
- Confidence: “Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident” (Psalms 27:3).
One Psalm that always brings me great encouragement is Psalm 42 as David’s emotions just seem to be all over the place. In one breath he says:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Then in the next breath he’s preaching to himself:
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
Have you ever been there? Stuck in the whirlwind of emotions ranging from “God, what are you doing?” to “God I trust you in this!”. I get there all of the time and am always reminded that in the midst of my lack of understand all I can do is praise a holy God who has all things under control.
I hope that you’ll enjoy spending this time in the Psalms as we work through it in the Know Your Bible group. One exercise that you can do is to write down some of the emotions that you’re feeling each day before you start reading, then as you read the Psalms, write down the way that God’s word is speaking directly to them. I think that you’ll be amazed an encouraged at how God speaks to us through the Scriptures.