Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. (Psalm 95:1-2)
What is a psalm? We know there is a book of those things in the middle of our Bibles, but what exactly is the purpose of a psalm? In Old Testament times, they used poems and songs in worship, known as psalms. They were often recited or sung while a stringed instrument (similar to a harp) was played. I don't play a musical instrument, but I am capable of raising my voice in worship to the Lord. Does all my worship sound like a 'poem' or 'psalm'? Not always, but even words of thanks are words of worship!
We are instructed to 'shout joyfully' to the Rock of our salvation. Ever just feel like you needed to express something to God, but didn't know how? Maybe you just needed to let loose with a good old, "Wahoo", or the like! What did David show us in the Book of Psalms? He shared his experiences with God - highs and lows, rough seasons and seasons of plenty. He shared his fears, anxious thoughts, and dashed hopes. Equally important to note is that he also shared how God helped with each of those fears, anxious thoughts, and disappointments.
The purpose of a psalm is to express the heart. Does our heart always want to shout 'hymns of praise'? Nope! In fact, there are times when we just want to cry out in our disappointment and despair, knowing that someone who loves us so deeply will hear us and take notice of our extreme need. I know my heart is free to express whatever my spirit and soul needs to express, and God is not offended in the least when those things are not always joy-filled or triumphant.
How about you? Do you feel free to express your spirit and soul to God openly and honestly? You can, you know. It just takes the first word, followed closely by the second, and so on. Why not open your time with God today with your very own psalm - words that express your heart to the one who holds your heart so very, very close to his? You might be amazed how soon those words of worry, dashed hopes, and frustrations begin to turn into words of trust, vision, and peace. Just sayin!
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