Where do you run when your heart is floundering in deep grief and the torment of your emotional pain threatens to overwhelm you? When you are overtaken with fear and anxiety, what is your go-to for relief?
There is no better treatment to calm the soul than reading or listening to the Psalms.
Every night during the years of my marital betrayal, I would listen to the Word of Promise Audio Bible. It allowed my heart and mind to calm down enough to sleep. More often than not, I would listen to the book of Psalms. As I listened, the desperation of David, and other Psalmists, would resonate with the desperation in my soul.
The Psalms offer truth, instruction, validation, promises, comfort, and hope. The Psalms lead us to repentance, guides us in the way of right living, and draws our focus to our God.
When David is emotionally charged, we often see him expressing to God his need for justice. David often poured his heart out to God regarding his enemies. Many Psalms don't sit well with spiritually shallow people who make assessments according to the standard of "being nice". David doesn't sound so nice in Psalm 5 and 37.
"...You hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies, and deceitful men the Lord abhors. Not a word of their mouth can be trusted....Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you...The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming."
It's helpful to understand that God is ok with us feeling a need for justice and these feelings come often during betrayal and divorce. David models how to transition from needing justice, to focusing on God by praising Him who is merciful and just. However, in the midst of all this, David is still honest about his own sin and doesn’t evade his responsibility. He exhibits true repentance, as we see in Psalm 51.
"O Lord, against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight...Surely you desire truth in the inner parts, you teach me wisdom in the inmost place...Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me...Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you."
Thankfulness and praise to God are huge for our emotional healing. The Lord doesn't want us to be anxious, but to pray with thanksgiving, so that God's peace, which passes all our understanding, will be ours. It can and will transform our heart and mind. (Philippians 4:6-7)
David shows us this often – Praise is something no Psalm is without! Right in the midst of devastation and agony, he will confess who God is and praise His great name.
"...My soul is in anguish...I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes...O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring wickedness to an end and make the righteous secure. My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart...I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High." (Psalms 6 and 7)
Drinking in the Psalms is not just a temporary relief, as are so many other things we can turn to in our pain. Over and over, we declare the truth of God to our heart, until our mind is renewed and our perspective is changed. The Psalmists motivate us to cling to God's promises and to believe them for ourselves. This is exactly what we need in our desperate times, so our faith deepens and we become strong.
So in your heartache and despair, run to the Psalms and fill your soul with exactly what it needs – the magnificent, living God! Over time, you will become aware that you are being healed, and then you will have more and more reasons to thank Him and praise Him!
Laura serves as the Executive Director on the board of HER. She is passionate about helping betrayed women who struggle emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and financially. She has been leading weekly marital betrayal support groups for several years. Currently, Laura connects with leaders, writers, and counselors, to unite the efforts of those who share a burden for betrayed women.
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