Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
My weary soul longs for this elusive stillness, nourishment, provision.
How can I be still when there is so much for me to do?
My soul isn’t overwhelmed with stillness, it is overrun with burdens.
How did I get here, Lord?
And how will I ever escape?
Finding Stillness in the Study of Psalm 119
I will never forget the day Psalm 119 found me.
It is Sunday morning and I am moving at a snail’s pace due to lingering exhaustion from my daughter’s ninth birthday party (which just so happened to include a sleepless night in a cabin full of overly-sugared little girls).
Somehow, I manage to ready myself for church while my husband cooks breakfast and helps our daughters dress and style their unruly hair.
I’m sure we are a sight to behold as we cross the threshold of our church dragging two little girls in mismatched clothes and daddy hairstyles, yet no one seems appalled by our complete lack of put-togetherness.
The pastor encourages us to open our Bibles to Psalm 67 and I dutifully obey.
After reading the sermon text through a couple of times, my eyes drift to the blue ink markings highlighting another verse on the same page of my Bible.
A lifetime ago, I underlined the words of Psalm 68:19, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens,” and jotted this note in the margin – God does not expect me to bear my own burdens.
I flip through the book of Psalms, searching for more blue ink, hoping that the markings I made in my youth will speak to me through the fog of exhaustion.
The words of the hymn we just finished singing flood back into my mind…
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well-pleased eye.
Psalm 18:2 catches my eye, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliver.” The blue ink jumped off the page -God comes to the aid of His children when they ask!
I turn a few more pages and find Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” -My father carefully and patiently instructs me in everything. He prepares me fully to live a life for him.
I am cognizant of my surroundings, of the fact that my pastor is still preaching (and I probably should be listening to the sermon), yet I am transported to a different time and place.
A season of life where I am younger, less burdened, more optimistic.
I keep flipping, reading, soaking in the truth like a traveler in the desert longs for a drink of cool water.
Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” -Cease striving and depend on God. You can not live the Christian life in your own strength.
Psalm 86:6, “Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.” -God is ready to forgive all who call upon His name!
Psalm 119:10, “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.” -When we seek God with all of our heart, He will not let us stray.
Something about this verse captured me, it met me right where I was at, and beckoned me to dig deeper.
I kept reading, soaking in the truth like a traveler in the desert longs for a drink of cool water…and before I knew it, I had read through all 176 verses of Psalm 119.
The psalmist was so passionately committed to studying God’s Word, so in love with his Creator, so devoted to following God’s ways….I was absolutely captivated by him and I felt an immediate connection with him.
In lieu of sermon notes, I scribbled these life-changing words in my journal before gathering my motley crew and exiting the building:
Psalm 119 – The prayer of my heart! Study for 30 days.
Months have passed since that fateful day, and Psalm 119 has faithfully pursued me through the ups and downs of life.
My study proved to be more fruitful than I could have ever imagined.
Although I don’t know for certain who the author of Psalm 119 is, I have seen His heart poured out on the page and come to esteem Him greatly.
He has become my spiritual mentor and my friend, a person I turn to when I grow weary of juggling the heavy burdens of this life.
He is a gifted writer and a passionate believer; far from perfect yet always pure in his intentions.
He loves God’s word above all else, desires to live a life that is a pleasing aroma to his creator, and is searching for strength to endure the storms of this life.
His words are my heartbeat, my deepest longings, my hopes and my insecurities all penned on parchment thousands of years before I was born.
This beautiful passage of scripture is a gold mine of God’s truth.
Each verse is a piece of gold ore—valuable in its rawest form, yet immeasurably more valuable once mine, refine, and purify it by way of diligent study and personal application.
Top 7 Reasons to Study Psalm 119
1. You will be BLESSED
Do you desire God’s abundant blessing in your life? Psalm 119 will teach you how to unleash God’s blessing through diligent obedience.
2. You will be INSPIRED
God’s Word is to play a vital ministry in the inner life of every believer. Psalm 119 will motivate you to spend more time studying the Bible.
3. You will find SUSTENANCE
God has promised to provide spiritual nourishment for His children; when you study Psalm 119, you will find the sustenance you crave.
4. You will be MENTORED
Do you lack a strong spiritual mentor in your life? Stop walking alone and start following the example of the author of Psalm 119.
5. You will be EQUIPPED
No matter how much, or how little, time you have to study Psalm 119, you will walk away with powerful truths to equip you for the day.
6. You will find DIRECTION
Psalm 119 will teach you how to live a life that is in step with God’s Word, giving you clear direction and the confidence to follow God wherever He leads.
7. You will be PROTECTED
God’s word is straightforward, trustworthy, and absolute—our hiding place and our shield in a dangerous world. The author of Psalm 119 found great comfort and protection in the promises of God’s Word, and so can you.
Are you longing for more stillness, nourishment, and provision in your life?
Study Psalm 119.
Do you desire to live a life that is pleasing to God?
Live Psalm 119.
Do you want to be wiser than your enemies?
Love Psalm 119.
Join us! Free Psalm 119 Online Bible Study
The powerful promises of Psalm 119 teach us how to commune with God in the good times and the bad, revealing the critical role God’s word is to play in our day-to-day lives. And I want to spend three weeks studying it WITH YOU! I know how busy life can be, so I’ve kept each lesson short and sweet (5-10 minutes per day). Pre-register today and don’t forget to invite your friends to join us as we Unlock the Promises of Psalm 119 together.