Listen to the Stories
Have you ever considered the clarity of human emotions that the writers of Psalms depict as they tell their stories? These writings are often powerfully packed with the experiences of people. For even amid struggles, they find a way to praise God. True honesty describes the Psalms as these writers hold nothing back. Many times, the words reflect things that most of us might never voice aloud much less write down. Yet, they did, sharing their stories that connect with so many people. This is why they remain powerful even today. The words might be unfamiliar and ancient, but we can still connect to them because the world remains the same. The stories of the Psalms explain how God works in and through our lives.
Stories are important for they are how we connect and learn from one another. The uniqueness of the Psalms is found in the fact that their stories don’t end in the suffering, but praise. When we hear the stories of struggles told by others or in our own experiences, we must find a way to seek hope through God. For even in the darkest of times there needs to be the joy known from the confident knowledge that God is with us. What about you? Do you find hope in the tough times of life? Have you experienced joy in the darkness? Do you share your experiences with others?
Blessings and Trials
The Psalms teach us that our lives hold both blessings and trials, but that God is always present. He stands to protect us and keep our feet on the right path. But the Psalms also teach us that God sometimes tests us. Testing us, however, might be the wrong word. For testing, in true essence, is simply the difficulties of life experienced in a fallen world. Whether testing or not, it is clear that nothing happens without God being witness to it.
We could sum all of that up to the phrase, “It is, what it is.” But perhaps this is where the “testing” comes in as it determines how we measure up. Do we remain faithful or is this a part of our life that shows others that we can live out our faith? But before we fall in the rabbit hole of despair on the woes of life, let us remember that life holds good things too.
Do we give the same response to the good things in life that we do the bad? If so, then perhaps this makes all of life a test of faith. But if this is the case, we are back to that dreaded word of tests. Maybe a better question is, Where have we seen God work within all the things of our life? As we examine the Psalms, we see that no matter how bad things are, they always return with praise. But like that word, test, perhaps praise isn’t quite right either. Because what we see in the Psalms is that no matter what, they remain committed to God through worship. Their written stories share their participation as a believer which makes them devoted, no matter what.
Stories Build Disciples
When we share our own stories of how God works or is working in our lives we are telling and showing our faith stories. This builds up the body of Christ as we make and grow disciples through our own experiences. Faith is not created for us but is part of us and this “test” of life. Faith belongs to each of us and although faith is a personal commitment, together we are all on the same path. We each hold individual experiences, but the experiences collectively make us into the body of Christ. This allows us to encourage one another on our walk.
When we tell and share our stories with others we not only tell and share but show our faith. This is a form of praise and worship for God. We know that God answers prayers. Individually and together, as a body of believers, we must share what God is doing or has done in our life. Remembering that God not only saves us but refines us in the difficult times of life helps firm up our faith. Sometimes it is in the difficult times of life that a pearl of new and deeper wisdom develops that helps us see the truth from lies and gives us the discipline to do what we know is right.
Come and Tell Your Story
Realizing that life is a gift from God lets us understand why it is to be cherished. It is in this way that we see that it isn’t a right to take for granted. Furthermore, in this realization, our faith takes hold and reminds us that we must remember God during all times praising Him in all circumstances. Which is why we must share and tell our own stories of how God is working in our life.
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He did for me.Psalm 66:16 (NLT)
So, let us come and show our love, reverence, and obedience to our Creator. We can do this by obeying His commands, turning away from evil, and promoting peace. But reverence should reflect more than sitting quietly in the church or (your living room sofa) on Sunday for it is our actions that speak louder. Obeying God through the way we speak and treat others tells our stories too. We must connect to God through all the things in our lives like the writings of the Psalmist. It is in this place that we can hear Him more carefully, be ready to go where He sends us, and be available for Him when we arrive.
Won’t you challenge yourself to boldly tell your stories of how God is working in your life? Find your conviction rooted firmly in your belief of His promises for you. Seek and find your motivation in your knowledge that He is protecting you for eternity. Surround yourself in the comfort He provides by always being in your presence through all of life, good and bad.
Need a prompt for your story?
“I praise God because God ____________.”
I pray as you go forth with your own Psalmist stories you will continue to be safe.
Love in Christ,
The Bible is not only laws, it’s also stories.Elie Wiesel
What Are Your Thoughts
Do you tell your stories of how God is working in your life? Share your thoughts on the importance of sharing both the good and bad stories of life and how God is there through it all. Or better yet, share your story here!