The great thing about God—about having a real connection with Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ—is that He is not “off again, on again.” He is not with you when things are going well but absent when the bottom drops out.
Admittedly, sometimes it feels that way. It may seem to you during dark times that God is far away. I know the feeling.
And, to be honest, isn’t it sometimes the case that when things are going well we don’t feel the need for God? After all, everything is already great! Or, we make circumstances the barometer of our spiritual life: life is good, God is near; life stinks, where is He anyway?
But when things come crashing down around us, we realize the truth: we need the Lord, really need Him, 24/7 365.
The book of Psalms, right in the middle of the Bible, speaks to us at both ends of the spectrum of life—when we are on cloud nine and when we are in the pits. It is a great portion of Scripture for learning to walk with God in the ups and downs of life.
One of the things that jumps out at you from the book is its intense emotion, the raw feelings you find on every page. When the psalmist is feeling miserable, he tells it like it is … to God!! He pours out his anger, fear, and grief to God in direct conversation. When the shoe is on the other foot and life for the psalmist is wonderful, he talks to God about his happiness, pleasure, and delight.
This emotional element of the Psalms makes it a book we can connect with, viscerally. No wonder, then, that it has been a book that the people of God have turned to often—the Israelites in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament, Jesus, the Apostles and the Church. Paul, speaking to the churches in Colossae and Ephesus about their worship times, tells them to sing psalms. From then right up to the present the Psalms have been a treasure for the Lord’s people.
But the book is about a whole lot more than emotion. It is about living a life centered on the true and living God, a life of thoughts and actions as well as of feelings. Notice the reference point: God. Through the pages of the book of Psalms we learn about God. We learn to know Him, relate to Him, and worship Him.
Through this fall season I will preach a series of sermons from ten psalms called “Walking with God in the Ups and Downs of Life.” I invite you to read the selected psalm in advance of the sermon. You can find that schedule below.
As we do life together, let’s walk with God, wherever the path goes.
“Walking with God in the Ups and Downs of Life”
Sermon Series Reading Schedule
September 28 Psalm 41
October 5 Psalm 42
October 12 Psalm 72
October 19 Psalm 73
(October 26 is Missions Sunday; Mark Olander will preach.)