In this evening’s service, our visiting preacher spoke from Psalm 32. He confessed to having been recently “converted” to the Psalms. It got me to thinking why I, and so many other Christians, find the Psalms so helpful. I’m convinced that it has a great deal to do with the fact that they show us life as it is — warts and all. In the Psalms we see the disappointments, trials and troublesome times — the times that the world often tries to gloss over or edit out.
But the Psalms show us not just the warts of life, for life is more than warts. The Psalms are framed from the standpoint of faith, and set against the backdrop of eternal reality. As our preacher this evening reminded us, they are best understood in the light of the New Testament, where they are so often quoted by the Lord Jesus and his apostles.
The Psalms are prayers we can all pray at some time in our lives, and praises that we can all sing. Not every trouble is solved, but there is a resolution to every problem. The psalmists may be left in trouble, but they are never left without hope. All our hope on God is founded, just as we place our faith in him. Life may be difficult, but it is not hopeless (unless we live it without God).
The Psalms also are examples of how godly men pray, examples that help us pray and praise as we ought. Even if the psalmists’ trouble or situation is not ours we can certainly learn from these godly men at prayer and praise. The Psalms give us models for our own prayer and praise.
So let’s pray as they did. Life has its warts, but Christian believers can pray in the midst of the warts. The psalmists show us how.