Lately, I’ve been finding help in those psalm passages in which I see someone talking to their own soul. It’s a kind of holy talking to yourself. There are times when I’ve been able to simply notice the thoughts of my soul rather than being caught up in them without any detachment or holy perspective. Rather than being inwardly rushed and frantic, I am able to remind myself of a reality greater than my immediate feelings. Here are some of the psalm lines that have been especially good for me:
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:5 NIV)
When my soul feels heavy, down and troubled, I can remind myself that have reliable hope in God. I can remind myself that God is good and that I will see Him and praise Him soon. (Also Psalm 42:11 &. 43:5).
Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn. (Psalm 57:8 NIV)
When my soul feels lethargic and sleepy, I can urge my soul to awaken to the real presence of God with me just like the rising sun awakens a new day.
My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him…. Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:1, 5 NIV)
When I feel itchy, anxious or fearful within, I can remind my soul that there is rest to be found abiding in God. The future is bright in Him. There are countless good things that He is preparing for me.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits— (Psalm 103:1, 2 NIV)
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty. (Psalm 104:1 NIV, and 146:1)
In seasons when my soul is not as aware of the goodness of God as it has been in others, I can remind myself of countless benefits and express the treasure, brilliance and weightiness of Who God is in my life. One practical way I’ve been doing this lately is through a journalled examen. I just start writing a list of thanksgivings, some dramatic and some simple. The other morning, it took writing thirty expressions of gratitude in my journal before my soul lightened up a bit and because to see hope.
What is happening in your soul right now? What are your joys, encouragements or hopes? What are your sorrows, worries or despairs? How do you want to talk to your soul in God’s presence to remind yourself of what is good and true?
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