From Spring break until the end of this semester, we decided to have our BCM Bible study groups look at the Psalms. April and I are in charge of setting the direction for these groups, training the leaders, and writing (really compiling, because we have a lot of great resources that we use) the study material for them to look at. This means that we've spent some significant time reading and studying the Psalms over the past month. I've also been reading C.S. Lewis' book Reflections on the Psalms, which has given me some fresh ways to approach them.
Psalms has always been a favorite part of the Bible for me. I've been surprised to hear a lot of students who've never spent much time reading them or using them to enrich their prayer and worship life. It's been a joy for me to share what God has taught me through the psalms with them, and to open up a whole new part of God's word for some students. Instead of focusing on the more "famous" and easily accessible psalms (like 23, 51, or 136), we've tried to take a sampling of the many different moods of prayer that are found there. This week, for instance, the groups will be looking at a couple of the psalms of lament, where the Psalmist voices his pain and anguish over circumstances in his life, asking God to intervene while maintaining an attitude of steadfast trust and hope in him. These can be a little tougher to understand and associate with, but it is a joy to learn to express these kinds of emotions to God.
"But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me." - Psalm 13:5-6