Why Did God Include the Psalms in the Bible?

In his article, Self-Injury: When Pain Feels Good, Edward T. Welch offers this helpful tidbit concerning the placement of psalms in the Bible and how we should use them in our suffering:

Why did God include psalms in the Bible?  Certainly, they teach us how to worship the Lord, but there is more.  Do you notice that God actually wants us to speak to him when we struggle, so much so that when we are speechless, He offers us words to speak?  In one psalm after another, He invites us to cry out to Him rather than cry on our beds alone.  The psalms teach us how to talk.

With this in mind, find a psalm to call your own, one that captures your experience and turns you to the Lord… Start with phrases or sections of the psalm to get started.  Speak them from your heart to the Lord.  Talk out loud.  God is a real person: “Hear my cry for help, O Lord.”  Don’t forget that these words are not simply those of a human poet expressing his sorrow or isolation.  They are divinely authorized words that Jesus Himself used to call out to His Father.  They teach us how to call out to God who delights to hear us.

This is exactly what you need.  All other paths loop back to yourself.  It is as if you can’t get away from you and your swirling emotions.  The Psalms come down, describe and name these swirling emotions, then take us outside of ourselves and to the God who gives hope.

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About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

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