8 Things God wants us to know when life is hard (A paraphrase of Psalm 66)
Psalm 66 tells us 8 things God wants us to know when life is hard.
When my world is melting, sliding out of my control, sometimes I wonder what he's doing. So I usually go to Psalms. God always reminds me that he is busy, and he is triumphant already.
So stop panicking.
Here's my paraphrase and prayer of Psalm 66, bullet-pointed for clarity:
1. Praise God first, regardless of what's happening
Shout for joy, everyone! Give
God credit for his miraculous works!
2. God is in control because he is the Creator
You fill me with awe.
Your enemies cringe at your name.
They rebel and slander and revolt,
yet the earth itself follows your commands
and bows itself in reverent obedience.
The orbits rotate,
the earth shakes and spews,
the animal kingdom continues its circle of life,
the wind and waves take their predictable paths.
3. God directs and uses the world for his glory
You can alter the world's state at any moment.
You can send fire,
rescue the perishing,
defend the weak.
Your power is absolute.
4. Nobody's getting away with anything
Lord, don't let rebellious nations and people triumph against your children.
Even in the temporary.
Unleash your power, Lord.
5. God always rescues his people
People seek you, reject you, find you.
Yet still you remain available.
How is this possible?
Help me to understand and seek you.
Praise the Lord, who hears my prayers!
You keep my feet from slipping.
You refine me during my fiery trials.
You bring me out of prison into a spacious place.
6. God allows hardship to teach us to trust him
You let me suffer--yet not like you suffered.
Then you bring me back out of my misery.
You fill me with abundant blessings.
I sing your praises.
7. My correct response to everything is worship
I will worship you in the sanctuary.
I will make a place of worship at your feet.
When I speak, my words will sing truth and faith.
I will forgive my enemies.
I worship you alone. There is no one else.
8. Praise, confess, rejoice, share, wait, trust--this is the Christian experience
Come and listen, everyone who is afraid.
Let me tell you what God has done for me.
I cried out to him in my darkest hour,
and he answered me.
I confessed my sin and the sins of my nation,
and he forgave us.
I surrendered my will,
and he raised me up.
I will wait for you, O, Lord!
Praise to the Lord who never forgets us in our crises!