The Songs of Jesus

A daily devotional from the Book of Psalms

Day 50
Read Psalm 119

The Word: What It Is and What Should We Do

Psalm 1 said the key to knowing God is delight in God's Word. What is it? As his law, decrees, and commands his Word is absolutely authoritative and must be obeyed. As his statutes it is permanently relevant for every time and place and must be trusted. As his precepts it is consummate wisdom such that what he requires perfectly fits our needs and nature. As his ways it is not a set of abstract rules but an expression of God's own character and nature. So knowing the Bible is no end in itself. We study it in order to learn of him with all our heart to know fellowship with the Father. How should we use the Word? We should see amazing riches in the Word and meditate on it long and hard. We must hide the word of God in our hearts through closely reading and memorizing it. We ought to work the truths of Scripture into our affections until they shape our loves, hopes, and imagination. Jesus was the preeminent example of this. In his darkest moments, when he is being forsaken, betrayed and soon killed he quotes Scripture. His heart was so shaped by Scripture that it came to mind whenever he was in need or difficulty. The Word of God should also "dwell in us richly"... Does it?
Day 49
Read Psalm 110

The Priest-King

David hears a word from God to his Lord. But since he was Israel's king, who could be his superior? Jesus says the verse refers to him. But this powerful king is also a sympathetic priest who represents the people to God. So Jesus is both human and divine, both a lion and a lamb. While earthly kings conquer by filling the world with bodies, Jesus conquers by converting and filling the earth with his body – the church. So there is a battle to be fought, but with the weapons of love, service, and truth!
Day 48
Read Psalm 91:14-16

7 Promises In 2 Verses

In short compass God makes seven promises to those who set their love on him. The first four are practical: He will rescue and protect us, answer our prayers, and be by our side in trouble. The last three, however, take us to a horizon just beyond our sight. He gives us honor, or literally glory. The esteem and worth we strive so hard to achieve and to get from others he be stows on us. It is beyond imagining: his high regard, his Well done is a gift of his grace. He also gives us endless, eternal life and a salvation of body and soul no longer waited for but known fully.
Day 47
Read Psalm 91:5-13

No Harm Will Overtake You

These verses seem to promise that nothing bad will ever happen to believers but that’s not true at all and it’s not the point of this psalm. The enemy wants us to think and believe that the presence of pain and trouble is the absence of God's promises. But the psalm later clarifies that God will save us "in trouble" not from it. The only things faithful people can lose in suffering are things that are finally expendable. The real you, the new you, the one God is creating and shaping in the likeness of Jesus, cannot be harmed.
Day 46
Read Psalms 91:1-4

Two Ways God Protects

Two contrasting metaphors are used for God's protection: a fortress filled with shields and ramparts; and a mother bird gathering her brood underneath her wings. The fortress has walls of great strength. Spears and arrows make not a dent. The mother bird, however, shelters with her own wings. She shelters her young from burning heat or rain and cold only by bearing them herself. The Old Testament does not explain how this impervious strength and sacrificial, loving weakness could be combined in God. It is on the cross where we see the absolute righteous power and the tender, sacrificial love of God combine and shine forth brilliantly, both equally fulfilled.
Day 45
Read Psalm 71:1-6

Deliver Me in Your Righteousness

The psalmist asks for help because God is righteous. How can God love you and still be true to his own righteousness? The Bible is one long, great answer to that question. It happens only through Jesus. Who else completely relied on God from birth and always praised him? He gifted us the blessing of salvation we don't deserve and took the curse for sin that we do deserve. If we are in Christ, the confidence David had should become ours by grace.
Day 44
Read Psalm 62:5-8

The Lesson Remembered

David counsels himself with the lesson of verse 1. The battle to shape our hearts with the truths our minds know is never over. And here indeed is the great truth of the Bible, the Gospel salvation comes from God alone, not from ourselves or any effort we can produce. "To the one who does not work but trusts [rests in] God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteous-ness.” David talks not just to himself but to others. We can best help others with their fears and distress when we have been through our own and found God faithful, our rock and our refuge.
Day 43
Read Psalm 62:1-4

The Lesson Learned

This is a psalm for those under stress, and the first verse is the key to facing it. It says, "Only toward God my soul is silence." When we are in trouble our soul chatters to us, "We have to have this, or we won't make it. This must happen, or all is lost." The assumption is that God alone will not be enough, some other circumstance or condition or possession is necessary to be happy and secure. David however, learned to tell his soul, "I need only one thing to survive and thrive and I have it. I need only God and his all-powerful fatherly love and care, everything else is expendable." When this realization sinks in, you will. "never be shaken."
Day 42
Read Psalm 51:14-19

The Eloquence Of Brokenness

What is the broken and contrite heart God wants so much? It is a heart that knows how little it deserves yet how much it has received. David is talking about hearts broken by knowing how costly forgiveness is, and how little they deserve the free grace of God - knowing both how lost and how loved we are. This gets us out of ourselves, freeing us from the need to be constantly looking at ourselves when we should be looking at Jesus!
Day 41
Read Psalm 51:10-13

The Importance of Joy

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation" is a prayer we should pray frequently. The Bible encourages us to rejoice in the Lord. This serves as a reminder of all we have in Christ. It’s foolish to be less than joyful at what God has done in our lives. Furthermore, we cannot minister to others except out of the joy that we have in Jesus. Our words will be hard, harsh, indifferent, or absent unless we are overflowing with the joy of knowing that we are God's precious possessions, bought at great cost.
Day 40
Read Psalm 42:6-11


As the psalm proceeds we see that the phrase "I will yet praise him" is not a mere prediction of change but an active exercise. When we’re discouraged, we listen to the fearful speculations of our hearts. "What if this hap-pens?" "Maybe it's because of that!" Here instead we see the psalmist not merely listening to his troubled heart but addressing it, taking his soul in hand, saying, "Remember this, O soul!" He reminds his heart of the loving things God has done. He also tells his heart that God is working within the troubles... This self-communion is a vital spiritual discipline.
Day 39
Read Psalm 42:1-5

Where Is God?

The psalmist has not lost belief in God but the regular experience of meeting with the living God. Human beings need the sense of God's presence and love as much as the body pants after water. His first response to this dryness is to simply remind himself that it will not last. "This too shall pass" is a fact about any condition in this changeful world. A Believer's difficult times will always end and because of Jesus, it will end in your favor!
Day 38
Read Psalm 35:11-18

Unanswered Prayer

What did David do when his prayers returned to him unanswered during his persecution? The delay caused him grief and he expressed it. He mourned and wept. There was no pietistic, forced cheerfulness such as "I'm fine, I’m blessed and highly favored, just trusting the Lord!” But his grieving was still being done before God; he didn't stop praying. He cried out "How long, Lord, will you look on?" And remark-ably, even in the midst of his grief and the continued intrigues of his opponents, he was confident that someday he would give thanks to God. This is close to Paul's exhortation: "In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving [ahead of time], present your requests to God.”
Day 37
Read Psalm 34:17-22

How God Keeps Us Safe

Verses 17 and 19 seem to promise believers exemption from troubles, but other psalms say God is with us in our troubles. Indeed, verse 18 says we can be broken and crushed by life. But these sufferings push us to lean on God's presence in a way nothing else can. Afterward, Believers who have suffered and experienced pain and disappointment come to realize that they couldn’t have received their deeper joy in God any other way. Verse 22 says the Lord "will rescue his servants." Only the New Testament reveals what this promise cost God. On the cross Jesus secured "no condemnation" for those who take refuge in him to a degree David could not have imagined.
Day 36
Read Psalm 34:1-10

Boasting In The Lord

How can we be delivered from all our fears? The answer is comprehensive. Build an identity that gets its significance (glory)-makes its "boast" not from your performance, accomplishments or racial identity or talent or moral efforts or family but from God. Then and only then is the foundation of your self-worth secure and not subject to fears or shame. How can we get such an identity? Through Jesus – who helps us believe in God and experience God's grace and goodness in prayer. Anxieties, shame, and discouragement come when I try to make my boast in other things than God’s goodness and unfailing love toward me.
Day 35
Read Psalm 33:18-22

Hope That Doesn’t Disappoint

If you love someone, you are "quick-eyed" with them. You watch intently for the merest facial expression or gesture or tone of voice that hints at a need, so that you can meet it. God loves us like that, his all-seeing eyes alert to both what threatens us and what nurtures us. The psalm ends on a note of hope, but this is not a general optimism. The psalmist does not hope in God giving him this or that. He waits in hope for the Lord himself. He is focused not on the gift but on the Giver… Such hope will never disappoint us.
Day 34
Read Psalm 33:1-9

The Health of Worship

Praise is fitting. It fits God because he is worthy and fits us because we were created for it. Thus, generous and happy people are prone to praise, while others are prone to complain. Praise is "inner health made audible." We need to draw our hearts from fixation on other things and become enraptured with the beauty of the Lord. One of the main ways to do this is to use skillful music in our worship and private devotion.
Day 33
Read Psalm 27

The Beauty of God

David's supreme priority is "to gaze on the beauty of the Lord.” Gazing is not a one-time glimpse but a steady, sustained focus. It is not petitionary prayer but praising, admiring and enjoying God just for who he is. David finds God beautiful, not just useful for attaining goods. To sense God's beauty in the heart is to have such pleasure in him that you rest content.
Day 32
Read Psalm 25:15-22

Waiting Eagerly

Verse 21 uses the word "hope" to translate a term that means "to wait eagerly" for God. This is not resignation or passivity but an active stance toward life. David lives in integrity and uprightness despite how well his enemies are doing. He also keeps his eyes on the Lord and desires his presence and touch. Waiting on God, rather than jumping the gun by taking matters into your own hands, is the epitome of wisdom.
Day 31
Read Psalm 25:8-14


How does God guide us? The better question is not how, but whom does God guide. What mindset must we have so that we allow The Holy Spirit to lead us in our decision making? We must be so immersed in God's written Word and truth so that we are equipt to choose rightly even in cases to which the Bible doesn't speak directly. We must trust that all the things God sends us are grounded in his loving will. God "confides" in those who have all these attitudes of heart. He gives us his wisdom so we know the paths to take.
Day 30
Read Psalm 23

Peace in the Midst

God has a celebration meal with us not after we finally get out of the dark valley but in the middle of it, in the presence of our enemies. He wants us to rejoice in him in the midst of our troubles. Is our shepherd out of touch with reality? Hardly. Jesus is the only shepherd who knows what it is like to be a sheep. He understands what we are going through and will be with us every step of the way, even through death itself.
Day 29
Read Psalm 18:46-50

The Joy of Grace

Earlier David says he defeated his enemies, but here he says God did it. Is it we who work or God? The answer is both-and this paradox is no contradiction. David knew, in the end, that God accomplished it all through his grace, despite David's imperfect efforts. But that did not make him passive. Work done in the “do it yourself” mindset becomes a joyless, deadly grind. Only those who know that salvation comes by sheer grace, not our efforts, have the inner dynamic of grateful joy that empowers the greatest efforts. So the joy of the Lord is our strength, our salvation is complete in Christ.
Day 28
Read Psalm 18:34-45

True Greatness

Amid the celebration of military prowess exercised in defense of David's life is a remarkable statement- "your gentleness has made me great". The word comes from the word for humble or meek. It was the gentleness God exercised toward an imperfect human being that allowed David his success, and it was the gentleness that God taught him through hard lessons over the years that, in the end, was his true greatness, we see this example in Jesus who was "gentle and humble in heart.”
Day 27
Read Psalm 18-28-33

Strength through The Word

This Psalm, from the first verse and throughout, is all about how God gives us the strength to face anything. How do we get that strength? By knowing that God's way is perfect and his Word is flawless. The best gift in the world, next to the Word incarnate, Jesus himself, is God's written Word, and it will ignite your heart if you give it a chance.
Day 26
Read Psalm 18:20-27

Friendship with God

The word "faithful" refers to pledged love between covenant partners. God responds in kindness so he can be not just a King but also a friend. In becoming human, God's first great act of friendship, he became like us, drawing near to us so we could draw near to him. In his second great act of friendship, he gave his life for us. He died our death so that we can have his life.
Day 25
Read Psalm 18:7-19

The Hindsight of Faith

David says God came down from heaven in storm and wind to save him. While he did these things at other times, God never literally did them to help David escape from Saul. With hindsight however, David now sees that God was active beneath the surface of things, even when he seemed absent at the time, “because he delighted in me.” Christians know that God came down from heaven for them because he loved us and gave himself for us on the cross and delights in us in Christ.
Day 24
Read Psalms 18:1-6

Love You, Lord

The psalms repeatedly call God a refuge, because we so constantly need it. Habitually turning to God for refuge is the only real support we have in life. In Psalm 2 David took refuge by remembering that God will put all things right eventually. In Psalm 7 he took refuge by resting on God's wise arrangement of his current life circumstances. Here we see David taking refuge by thanking God exuberantly for past blessings. When he says, "I love you, Lord," he uses an unusual Hebrew word that conveys deep emotion and passion. We too should cultivate such love by considering how God delivered you through the drama of the cross.
Day 23
Read Psalm 17:10-15

Hope in the Darkness

The callous people who consistently cross every line, flout every law, laugh at compassion and do whatever it takes to be happy right now are dangerous people to be around. Living a self-absorbed life will always be at the cost of everyone else. In such a dark world, David maintains hope in darkness. Because of Jesus I can rest in the confident assurance of the resurrection (if he was raised, so was I) – knowing this heals all wounds.
Day 22
Read Psalm 17:1-9

A Clear Conscience

David is not claiming to be sinless as a human; he is denying that he is corrupt as a ruler. He is being falsely accused but his conscience is clear. How can we keep a clear conscience? There are two parts to it. Do the right thing. But when you don't, immediately repent (change the way that you are thinking), knowing that you are "the apple of God's eye" and that you are the righteousness of God In Christ Jesus. In Christ, God sees us as perfect. So whether you are falsely accused or fallen and recovered, you can walk with your head high with a clear conscience.
Day 21
Read Psalm 16:7-11

The Best is yet to Come

Because God is our greatest good, we get what can't be lost and will only increase infinitely. The Lord is at our right hand. To be at someone's right hand is to be their advocate in court or support in battle or companion for a journey. In Christ this is all literally true. Because he died and rose for us, he is our representative in heaven (so we are completely forgiven) and companion on earth (so we are intimately loved). And someday we will not just sense him at our side but see him face to face… we have nothing to fear!
Day 20
Read Psalm 16:1-6

Frailty of False Idols

If we live for and love anything more than God himself, we are trapped. Those things that we love and prioritize over him cause us to become over-dependent and always “running until we’re exhausted” after them. This race leads to increased pain and suffering because life usually takes away the very idols that we ran after. Lets take the advice and encouragement from the writer of this psalm and simply make God our portion (our real wealth) and our cup (our real pleasure).
Day 19
Read Psalm 15


Who benefits the most from being awaken by God’s presence, love and grace? Those who speak true words but in love and generosity. Those who are transparent, honest and faithful to their commitments and not always changing their minds. Those who deceive, vilify, flatter and make empty promises have a difficult time acknowledging and receiving the power of God’s presence in their lives. Refresh your mind with this reality, his presence is a gift given by his grace.
Day 18
Read Psalm 14


In the Bible foolishness is described as “destructive self-centeredness.” Fools can’t bear to have anyone over them, so they ignore God or deny he exist. Some of this rebellion exists in every heart. Every sin is kind of practical atheism – it is acting as if God were not there. Doubt and unbelief can consume us at times but never forget that faith is a gift given by God that is ignited by his word and his spirit. Faith can burn deep in your soul even when your mind is troubled by the foolish thinking that is birthed out of fear and doubt.
Day 17
Read Psalm 13


David’s in agony and doesn’t feel the presence of God. He believes that God has ignored his pain and sorrow. This psalm is proof that God wants to hear our genuine feelings even if they aren’t favorable towards him. Because David continued to pray in spite of not feeling God’s presence he soon remembered God’s grace and salvation and ended in state of peace. As we mature and grow in grace we learn to pray until our hearts rejoice and believe the promise of his presence even while we suffer.
Day 16
Read Psalm 12

The Power of Words

God knows how to protect us from the lies, slander, deception and every evil word from our enemies. Words have enormous power not only to distort and wound but also to influence culture. As believers we must know and trust that we have God’s protection from every evil word spoken. We can respond by declaring what Jesus has already spoken over us and allow his words to become our words!
Day 15
Read Psalm 11

Don’t Despair

When life crumbles, the desire to run away and hide in despair is strong. David counters this impulse to run with three insights: theological – God is still on His throne; practical – crises are really tests and opportunities to evaluate what’s true and solid vs. what’s flimsy and unstable; spiritual – our biggest need is to acknowledge God’s presence and desire to help us…the more you know that he loves you the less you’ll have the impulse to run away.
Day 14
Read Psalm 10:12-18


This second half of Psalm 10 shows us a man who never gets the “why” question answered yet he trusts God completely. While the “day of justice” may be in the future, the promise of encouragement is in the present - we must awaken to it. Believers should remember that Jesus loves the helpless, grief-stricken and the oppressed so much that he took on our shame and defeat so that we can live in his victory.
Day 13
Read Psalm 10:1-11

Love What He Loves

To worship the desires of the heart leads to habits of self-expression and self-assertion rather than sacrificial love. It’s the way of life that leads to evildoing and it appears to be dominant in this world. We must daily resist the thought that God is too far away and uninvolved in our affairs. He lives in us and through us, we are his ambassadors for goodness and justice on this earth and our prayer should be “keep me loving what you love and hating what you hate.”
Day 12
Read Psalm 9:13-20

Never Forget

This psalm moves suddenly from thanksgiving to a passionate plea for help in the midst of suffering. Life is like that sometimes but David grabs hold of a truth that keeps him from sinking – He remembers that God will always be there for him. One of the biggest problems of believers is we forget what we should remember and remember what we should forget. Because Jesus died in our place we can be even surer than David that God will always be there for us.
Day 11
Read Psalm 9:1-12

Give Thanks!

A thankful heart is extremely healthy for the soul and this psalm points the eyes of the soul in the right direction. We must discern God’s “wonderful deeds” in our lives and celebrate them often. Recognize and record God’s wonderful deeds daily and you will have a journal of grateful and joyful declarations as the background music of your life.
Day 10
Read Psalm 8

Wonderful Care

The universe reveals God’s glory, aren’t humans just a speck of dust in this vastness? Why do we fill the mind of God? Why does God care for us so intently? Because he made us in his image and has given us the world he created to care for as his agents. As a human race we haven’t done a very good job of caring but Jesus has come to live in us and trough us… the systems of this world are under his feet and soon everything will be made right as we walk in his power and authority.
Day 9
Read Psalm 7:1-5

Smear Campaign

How do we deal with gossip and slander and the loss of our reputation? David shows us in this psalm that he knows that he is already safe before the trouble begins - his trust is in God’s wisdom and purpose and he’s at peace regardless of the immediate outcome. Remember: It’s only God’s opinion of us that counts and that will prevail.
Day 8
Read Psalm 6

Waiting is Difficult

“How long, O Lord, how long?” Is the question of someone who has walked with more pain, sickness, trouble or confusion that he thought he could ever bear. This psalm gives us a picture of how God – because of his unfailing love hears the prayers of those who are faltering. We should remember that God’s covenant to care for us in not based on our perfection but his son Jesus’ and he walks with us and helps us to “run with perseverance the race.”
Day 7
Read Psalm 5:7-12

Praying For Protection

David’s psalms often speak of enemies. Ancient kings were always in danger of people trying to kill them. You and I may have few enemies who intent on physical violence but there are many forces in the world today that try to ruin us economically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. As believers we must know that God will protect us because of his great love for us.
Day 6
Read Psalm 5:1-6

Pouring Out Our Heart

Many of the psalms begin with desperate cries for help from deep within. This is uncensored prayer, straight from the heart. Even when we have no words to express our anguish, fear, grief or pain we can bring our requests before God. He expects us to trust and lean on him with the confidence of knowing that he is faithful and gracious.
Day 5
Read Psalm 4

Peace, Joy and Rest

How can you have peaceful sleep at night and joy—even when others are prospering and it seems that you’re not? Consider two things offered in this text: First, do you have a divided heart - making success or relationships into idols? If so repent. Second, do you have a bitter heart? If so forgive. Finally, believe and know that you are safe in Jesus and you can rest in him.
Day 4
Read Psalm 3

Peace Amid Danger

David’s son was trying to kill him and the seeds of his family dysfunction are his own fault. In this prayer he realizes that nothing on this earth can serve as a person’s worth or security. He’s sharing his experience of finding hope and peace in God even in the midst of danger. God is the only one who sustains you from the armies of your enemy, whether internal or external.
Day 3
Read Psalm 2:5-12

Refuge in God

This Psalm reveals God’s response to human pride and power is to install his “Son” on Zion. This points to Jesus, one day he will put everything right; but he will do this by going to Zion first to die for our sins. To “kiss the son” is to rest and live in him. As we do this, we have assurance that no matter what happens to us, ultimately everything will be all right, “there’s no refuge from him – only in him.”
Day 2
Read Psalm 2:1-4

No Intimidation

Everyday the media highlights new things to fear. The “powers that be” in this world tell us that obedience to Jesus shackles us, limiting our freedom. But in reality, freedom comes only through knowing Jesus. The people and forces that appear to rule the world are all under his Lordship, Jesus reigns and we can take refuge in him and live above every fear – no longer intimidated by the world.
Day 1
Read Psalm 1

The Nourishing Word

Psalm 1 is the gateway to the rest of the psalms. In this text the “law” is scripture, to “meditate” is to think and imagine its power working in your life and to “delight” in it means to comply and love what Jesus has declared over you. As we meditate on the word and understand what Jesus did on the cross our attitude toward God transitions from one of demand and duty to freedom and love. Learning to meditate on and delight in the Word is the secret to a healthy relationship with Jesus, his word gives us the resilience of a tree with a source of living water that will never dry up.

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