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Intersection of Life and Faith

20 Psalms to Read when Life is Miserable

  • Sue Schlesman Contributing Writer
  • 2016 25 Aug
20 Psalms to Read when Life is Miserable
When life is at its most bleak, do you turn to the Word for guidance? The book of Psalms specifically holds the encouragement you need when life is miserable.
  • 1. Psalm 5—When You are Persecuted

    “Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies—make straight your way before me.” (Psalm 5:8)

  • 2. Psalm 6—When You are Depressed

    “Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.” (Psalm 6:1)

  • 3. Psalm 16—When You are Confused

    “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:7)

  • 4. Psalm 17—When You Feel Alone

    “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in your from their foes.” (Psalm 17:6)

  • 5. Psalm 18—When Life Feels Precarious

    “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights...You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.” (Psalm 18:32-34)

  • 6. Psalm 22—When You Feel Forgotten

    “For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” (Psalm 22:24)

  • 7. Psalm 25—When You Feel Ashamed

    “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.” (Psalm 25:3)

  • 8. Psalm 27—When You are Afraid

    “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

  • 9. Psalm 31—When You Need Someone to Rescue

    “Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.” (Psalm 31:2)

  • 10. Psalm 33—When You are Worried about the World

    “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.” (Psalm 33:18-19)

  • 11. Psalm 37—When You Doubt That Your Life Will Matter

    “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:5-6)

  • 12. Psalm 40—When Life Keeps Getting Worse

    “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1)

  • 13. Psalm 42—When Life Seems Hopeless

    “Why are you down cast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)

  • 14. Psalm 51—When You Need Forgiveness

    “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love: according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions.” (Psalm 51:1)

  • 15. Psalm 53—When You Doubt God’s Existence

    “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.” (Psalm 53:1)

  • 16. Psalm 55—When People Malign You

    “He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.” (Psalm 55:18)

  • 17. Psalm 63—When You are Desperate

    “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)

  • 18. Psalm 73—When You are Confused about God’s Plan

    “When I tried to understand all this it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” (Psalm 73:16-17)

  • 19. Psalm 86—When You are Overwhelmed by Your Own Neediness

    “Teach me your way, O Lord and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)

  • 20. Psalm 94—When You are Drowning in Anxiety and Stress

    “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)

    Sue Schlesman is a writer, teacher, speaker, and pastor’s wife who lives in Richmond, VA with her husband and 3 sons. She blogs and writes Bible studies, non-fiction, fiction, curriculum, and children’s books. She has published a variety of print and non-print media. You can find her at and

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