Wait well. The Psalms describe how agonizing it can feel to be facing an urgent need yet not see God acting to meet it right away. But, as the Psalms reveal, the process of waiting is valuable in itself, because it encourages you to stretch your faith by seeking God. When you exercise your faith while you wait, you emerge from the waiting period with stronger faith.

Liberate your desires. As the Psalms show, when people make worldly things (such as wealth, power, or sex) the focus of their desires, they set themselves up for eventual disappointment, fueling a cycle of discontent in their lives. But when people make a relationship with God their ultimate desire, they can find real and lasting satisfaction. So liberate yourself from a vicious cycle of longing by focusing on God before anyone or anything else. The more you seek God, the greater your desire for Him will become, which will then motivate you to seek Him more – in a wonderful cycle of fulfillment.

Find rest through worshipping God. People in the Psalms worship God by seeking His purposes and doing their best to fulfill them. Rather than pursuing their own agendas for their lives, they offered themselves to God to do His will. Entrust yourself and your life to God as your own act of worship. When you let God overpower you, His authority will overshadow you, placing you in the protection of God’s will – which is the safest place for you to be.

Discover the power of being in God’s debt. In the Psalms, people acknowledge how dependent they really are on God, and how indebted they are to Him for everything He has done for them. Reflect on what God has done, and continues to do, for you. Then express your gratitude to God, and tell other people some stories of how God has blessed you.

Enjoy God. The Psalms show that human relationships with God are meant to be much more than just distant and abstract. Incredibly, our Creator wants us to enjoy relating to Him. The more you enjoy God, the more you can become a vessel of His glory in this world.

Praise God. When people in the Psalms express praise to God for who He is and what He does, they do so together, using both words and physical actions (such as dancing, kneeling, bowing, clapping, and lifting hands). Follow their lead by regularly praising God yourself in ways that best convey your love for Him.

Adapted from Deeper Places: Experiencing God in the Psalms, copyright 2013 by Matthew Jacoby. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bakerbooks.

Matthew Jacoby is the teaching pastor at Barrabool Hills Baptist Church in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, and the leading member of the Psalms project band Sons of Korah. He has a doctorate in philosophical theology from the University of Melbourne.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.  

Publication date: April 8, 2013