The Psalmist gives us several ideas about what to do when our soul is in turmoil. Two of them you might be familiar with. The third idea perhaps not so much.
1) Sing and Praise God – The Psalmist wrote this song (maskil) as a way of dealing with his despondency. He knew that by writing and then worshiping God through music he would intentionally take his eyes off of his own situation and put them on God. That is always a good thing because our tendency is to focus on everything that is wrong rather than the One who makes all things right.
2) Talk to God – In the first few verses we see the Psalmist pouring his heart out to God. Watchman Nee said, “Our prayers lay the track down upon which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, His power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.” Prayer is the first step toward harnessing the power of God. And if ever we need God’s power to be manifest in our lives it is when our soul is downcast.
3) Talk to Ourselves – Always we need to talk to God and often we need to give ourselves a good talking to. That is what we see the Psalmist doing throughout this Psalm. What do you say to yourself when the soundtrack running on replay in your mind is “Woe is me?”
- Remind yourself of a time when you experienced the nearness of God and remember what that was like. This is what we see him doing in verse 4.
- Remind yourself of all that God has done for you beginning with what He did for you at the cross. (verse 5)
- Remind yourself of some of the promises of God that are near and dear to your heart. (verse 8) Here is one of my favorites:
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
- Remind yourself of who God is. In verse 9 we see the Psalmist reminding himself that God is, has been, and always will be his Rock.
May this brick give you some ideas of what to do when you find that your soul is in turmoil.