If you’re a Christian, you’re aware that God desires to hear your praise and worship.
But what about your anger, or your discouragement, or your frustration that He’s not intervening in your life the way you wanted or expected?
Many Christians have a hard time believing God will tolerate such deep, often unpleasant emotions from His children. They might even say, “Oh, no, no, no. You can’t talk to God like that.”
But the Psalmists felt no such uncertainty. They were willing to complain directly to God and, in many ways, were more candid and authentic in their feelings than some believers today might be comfortable with.
The Psalms reveal almost every facet of the human condition – betrayal, disappointment, happiness, sadness, anger, and bitterness with God. They throw off every pretense that our journey through life with God is free of pain and suffering.
Kathy Keller, Dr. Timothy Keller’s wife, went through a dark season just like that. She almost died after undergoing surgery, and endured an entire year of complications afterward. Her condition left her confined to her home. It was a trying time.
Throughout those months, she would cry out to God for relief every night, and the only book of the Bible she felt she could read was the Psalms. They drew her closer to the Lord for the same reason they do so many of us in difficult times: they enable us to share our deepest emotions with God. As one writer put it, “Most of Scripture speaks to us, but the Psalms speak for us.”
Kathy’s suffering was at a deeper level than the language she had to express it. The Psalms helped her put words to her pain and, in a sense, gave her the permission to say them.
The Psalms can not only help us develop deeper intimacy with God, they can help us deepen our intimacy with our spouse as well. You can’t enjoy a thriving connection with your spouse by talking only about the weather. You have to open your hearts to one another and get to the deeper feelings inside.
That’s where the Psalms can help. If couples read a Psalm every day and discuss it with one another, they’ll have meaningful Scripture they can talk about that will help them get beneath the surface and connect emotionally.
On today’s and tomorrow’s program, we’ll be joined by the Kellers to discuss their book The Songs of Jesus, which describes how immersing ourselves in the Psalms can deepen our intimacy with God and with our spouse. They’ll share how they use the Psalms to approach devotions, prayer, and God as a couple.
I hope you’ll join us for our two-day program “Connecting Spiritually Through the Psalms.” With Kathy by his side, Dr. Keller has pastored Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City since 1989. His doctorate is in ministry, and she has a Master’s in theological studies.
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