9 Psalms That Help You Examine Your Heart

Do you enjoy reading the book of Psalms? Some people love the Psalms and can soak in its pages for hours on end. Truth be told...I'm not one of those people. Since most of the Psalms are poems or song lyrics, I find that reading a few - or even one! - at a time works best for me.

But when it comes to a "heart check," Psalms is a perfect place to hang out. I've said many times...

"The Psalms are meant to be soaked in and experienced even more than they are meant to be studied."

The people who wrote the Psalms give voice to the wide array of human emotion. Praise. Lament. Anguish. Triumph. Sorrow. Gratitude. Wonder. Confusion. 

You name it, you'll find it in the book of Psalms. 

Today, let's look at nine "heart check" psalms. You might want to read them all in one sitting. Or you might want to come back and read one each day for the next week or so. Or better still, read them all today, put nine sticky notes in your Bible and revisit them for a week or two. 

Soak in them. Pray them. Ponder them. And check your heart...

NOTE: I'm listing these Psalms in the order you'll find them in your Bible. I highly encourage to have your Bible open so you can read the context as you read this post.

"Let the Lord judge the peoples. Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High." Psalm 7:8, NIV

When I look at my own righteousness (or lack thereof), and my own integrity (or lack thereof), I find myself wondering if my righteousness and integrity could vindicate me. We think of righteousness and integrity as "good ideas." God sees them as worthy of our wholehearted pursuit!

"By your hand save me from such people, Lord, from those of this world whose reward is in this life. May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies; may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones. As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness." Psalm 17:14-15, NIV, emphasis mine

It is so easy to pursue the rewards of this life. The only thing that will truly satisfy is seeing His likeness. Why do I so often settle?

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." Psalm 18:16-19, NIV

Because He delighted in me. The Lord delights in me. Really? This humbles me. Amazes me. Challenges me. Restores me. When the lies seem loud...shout this truth louder.

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7, NIV

What am I trusting in? What are you trusting in? Simple question. Harder answer.

"One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple." Psalm 27:4, NIV

One thing. Only one thing. Do I truly see Jesus - dwelling with Him, gazing His beauty, and seeking Him - as my "one thing"? Sadly, I allow lesser things to cloud the one thing. (Heavy sigh.)

"I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin." Psalm 38:18, NIV

In my head, I know that sin is a big deal. I know the price for sin is death. I know the earthly consequences can be severe. I know it cost Jesus His very life. And yet, somehow, I don't take it nearly as seriously as I should. Oh, that my sin would "trouble me" as much as it troubled David!

"This I know, God is for me!" Psalm 56:9b, CSB

Seven words that change everything. I wrote a whole post on this a while back. It deserves an entire book! This verse stopped me in my tracks several years ago. It's been one of my favorites ever since.

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death." Psalm 68:19-20, NIV

We know that God sent His Son to die for our sins "once and for all." While this is true, I read this and am once again reminded that while the price has been paid, there is still a daily burden of living this side of heavenly glory and a new, restored earth. He bears our "daily burdens" as well. Amen!

"I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord." Psalm 104:33-34, NIV

If you and I focused on singing, praising, and rejoicing in the Lord, we would be much more likely that our "meditation would be pleasing to Him." It's too easy to focus on not doing the things that displease Him, when simply singing, praising, and rejoicing in Him will always be pleasing to Him.

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