5 Psalms To Start With Every Morning

I must confess that I found these five psalms grouped together in an article published on June 13, 2019, titled, 5 Psalms to Read in the Morning: To Help Start Your Day with God’s Peace and Strength,” by Debbie McDaniel, a pastor’s wife and contributing writer on IBelieve.com. She opens her article with the following:

Sometimes when we wake up in the morning, our minds might already start racing before our feet even touch the floor. Hearts burdened, spirits heavy, worry begins to creep in before we’ve fully started our day. There’s so much in this life we can start to feel anxious about, even when we know Truth and believe that God’s in control. Fear can be a daily battle, and we may wrestle with feeling great pressure under the weight of responsibilities we’re carrying.

If you’ve found yourself there recently, here’s hope from God’s Word. The Psalms offer countless verses of real-life struggles and prayers for God’s strength and covering. No matter what we may be facing today, we can choose to set our hearts and minds on His truth, believing that He is with us and giving us strength, every step of the way. (Quote source and complete article are available at this link.)

The list of the five psalms in the order they are mentioned in this article include:

Psalm 121 – (Our help comes from the Lord)
Psalm 103 – (God is our Redeemer, and crowns us with love and compassion)
Psalm 91 – (God will protect our way)
Psalm 46 – (God calls us to find rest and peace in Him)
Psalm 23 – (The Lord is our Shepherd and He will lead the way)

Several year ago I started praying Psalm 23 (NKJV) almost everyday in the morning when I first wake up, and again at night before I drift off to sleep, and sometimes throughout the day (I memorized it several years ago). For me, it seems that no matter what the circumstances might be at any given moment, it is a psalm that can calm my soul and center me on Who and what is important. It is without a doubt my most favorite psalm.

Psalm 23 (NKJV): The Lord the Shepherd of His People

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

Of the remaining four psalms mentioned above, I would be hard pressed to pick my second most favorite psalm in that list as they are all very inspiring. Here are the remaining psalms listed above in the order they are listed.

Psalm 121 (NKJV): God the Help of Those Who Seek Him

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Psalm 103 (NKJV): Praise for the Lord’s Mercies

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Psalm 91 (NKJV): Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Psalm 46 (NKJV): God the Refuge of His People and Conqueror of the Nations

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

I’ll end this post with a quote found at the end of the article I mentioned at the beginning of this post (the article is at this link):

It’s a new day ahead my friends, and a gift straight from God’s hand. If you woke up this morning, then we can be assured that God has great purpose for our lives, for this day. May He help us to lift our eyes and hearts towards Him; choose to find joy and live every moment for His glory. (Quote source here.)

Amen? . . .

Yes . . .

And Amen . . . .

YouTube Video: “Stand in Faith” by Danny Gokey:

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A Psalm for the New Year

Another year has arrived on Planet Earth–2022. I thought the following psalm would be a good way to start it off.

Psalm 46 (NIV)

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam

    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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Psalm 46 (MSG)

 God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in sea storm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,
    this sacred haunt of the Most High.
God lives here, the streets are safe,
    God at your service from crack of dawn.
Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
    but Earth does anything he says.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
    breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.”

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us . . .

God-of-Angel-Armies . . .

Protects us . . . .

YouTube Video: “Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis Chapman:

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Be Still and Know

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”Psalm 46:10In our fast-paced and frenzied society, it is hard to be still for any length of time, isn’t it? GotQuestions.org gives us the meaning behind the psalm as follows:

This verse [Psalm 46:10] comes from a longer section of Scripture that proclaims the power and security of God. While the threat the psalmist faced is not mentioned specifically, it seems to relate to the pagan nations and a call for God to end the raging war. Here is the whole psalm:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Notice that the majority of the psalm is written in the third person as the psalmist speaks about God. However, God’s voice comes through in verse 10, and the Lord speaks in the first person: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Be still. This is a call for those involved in the war to stop fighting, to be still. The word “still” is a translation of the Hebrew word “rapa,” meaning “to slacken, let down, or cease.” In some instances, the word carries the idea of “to drop, be weak, or faint.” It connotes two people fighting until someone separates them and makes them drop their weapons. It is only after the fighting has stopped that the warriors can acknowledge their trust in God. Christians often interpret the command to “be still” as “to be quiet in God’s presence.” While quietness is certainly helpful, the phrase means to stop frantic activity, to let down, and to be still. For God’s people being “still” would involve looking to the Lord for their help (cf. Exodus 14:13); for God’s enemies, being “still” would mean ceasing to fight a battle they cannot win.

Know that I am God. Know in this instance means “to properly ascertain by seeing” and “acknowledge, be aware.” How does acknowledging God impact our stillness? We know that He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), omnipotent (all-powerful), holy, sovereign, faithful, infinite, and good. Acknowledging God implies that we can trust Him and surrender to His plan because we understand who He is.

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. It was tempting for the nation of Israel to align with foreign powers, and God reminds them that ultimately He is exalted! God wins, and He will bring peace. During Isaiah’s time, Judah looked for help from the Egyptians, even though God warned against it. Judah did not need Egyptian might; they needed reliance on the Lord: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).

When we are still and surrendered to God, we find peace even when the earth gives way, the mountains fall (verse 2), or the nations go into an uproar and kingdoms fall (verse 6). When life gets overwhelming and busyness takes precedence, remember Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Run to Him, lay down your weapons and fall into His arms. Acknowledge that He is God and that He is exalted in the earth. Be still and know that He is God. (Quote source here.)

In an article published on August 13, 2018, titled, What is the Meaning of the Verse ‘Be Still and Know That I Am God’?” by Liz Kanoy, Senior Editor at Salem Web Network, she opens her article with the following two paragraphs:

“Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10, is a popular verse for comforting ourselves and others—many people tend to think this verse means to rest or relax in who God is. This verse does encourage believers to reflect on who God is, but there is more to this psalm than one verse—and verse 10 is actually more of a wake-up call to be in awe than a gentle call to rest. Taking time out of our day to meditate on Scripture and be silent with listening ears toward God is mentioned in other sections of Scripture (Psalm 119:15, Joshua 1:8, Luke 5:16, and others). But this command—“Be still…”—is written in the context of a time of trouble and war; therefore, we should consider the verse with that context in mind.

Instead of interpreting “be still” as a gentle suggestion, the meaning in this psalm lends itself more to: “cease striving” or “stop” and more specifically in this context “stop fighting,” which is directed toward the enemies of the people of God. The people of God should interpret the command for themselves to read more like: ‘snap out of it,’ ‘wake up,’ ‘stop fearing’—acknowledge who your God is—be in awe! However, it is good to note that there’s nothing wrong with the words in the translation “be still;” those words are not incorrect, it is simply helpful to note the context of the phrase. Verse 10 has something to say to both the enemies of God and the people of God, but it is the people of God the psalm is written to. Verse 1 starts, “God is our refuge and strength” (emphasis added). The Psalms are for God’s people. (Quote source here.)

In a June 29, 2017, article titled, How Do We Rest in God? 3 Lessons from Psalm 46,” by Dr. David L. Allen, Dean, School of Preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he writes:

Where do you run for refuge when life gets overwhelming? What truths to do you turn to? I have always loved Psalm 46. How often I have read, quoted, or shared with someone in a counseling situation. As I have been reading the CSB over the past months, I have enjoyed seeing this familiar psalm in a new light—it’s been reminding me of how this psalm can redirect our efforts and help us rest in God. Here’s what I mean:

1. Stop Your Fighting

Psalm 46:10 is rendered in the CSB as “Stop your fighting, and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”

“Stop your fighting” is somewhat unique among translations of this verse. Many Bible translations render the imperative as “Be still.” This is then applied along the lines of “we need to come aside from the hustle and bustle of daily life and get alone with God.” Certainly that is true, but there’s more going on this verse.

Since verse 10 falls in the third and final strophe of the Psalm, verses 8-12, the context of those verses is important for understanding verse 10. Notice how verses 8, 9, and 11 reference some aspect of war and fighting. The traditional translation of “be still” appears too tame for this context. “Stop your fighting” fits the context better.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that I may not only be fighting the Lord’s battles, but I may be fighting against the Lord Himself! There comes a time to lay down your arms and know that He is God—He will do as He wills with me and with the other guy.

Psalm 46 begins with the words: “The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way … The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” This means that you and I can stop fighting in our own strength and rest in Him.

2. Take Refuge in God

[Martin] Luther’s ramshackle cart wobbled its way to Worms, Germany, in April of 1521. He had been summoned to appear before the Emperor and Catholic prelates to give an account of this new “heresy” he was teaching called “justification by faith alone.” The learned Johann Eck laid out all of Luther’s writings and then asked Luther if he was prepared to recant.

Luther retired to his room that night to think over his answer. His Bible fell open to Psalm 46. Luther returned the next morning to stand before his detractors. In response to their call to recant, Luther responded:

“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”

The Reformation was off and running.  

Psalm 46 was Martin Luther’s favorite Psalm. During the dark and dangerous periods of the Reformation, Luther would turn to his trusted friend Philip Melanchthon and exclaim: “Let’s sing the 46th Psalm, and let the devil do his worst!” It inspired his great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”  

No Psalm in all the Psalter expresses the tremendous truth that God’s presence and power are with us in all circumstances more than Psalm 46. We need to know God offers us two kinds of help: a stronghold into which we can flee and a source of strength by which we can face the uncertain future.  

3. Pause and Think About That

Psalm 46 is divided into three stanzas, each ending with the mysterious Hebrew word “Selah.” “Selah” was most likely originally a musical notation indicating a pause in the music for contemplation on what was just sung. You might translate it “Pause and think of that!”  

When the mountains quake, the Lord is my refuge and strength… Selah! When nations are in uproar and kingdoms fall, the Lord almighty is with us… Selah! “Stop your fighting, and know that I am God, exalted among the nations… the Lord of Armies is with us… Selah!”

Every new year brings us 365 days of uncertainty. Every new day brings us 24 hours of uncertainty. But every second of every hour of every day, God’s presence and power in our lives is available to us. What does the future hold? It really doesn’t matter, does it, as long as Psalm 46 is true! His Kingdom is forever! So, every day, let’s reflect on Psalm 46:10 or on another passage of Holy Writ and “Selah!”—pause and think of that!(Quote source here.)

With that in mind, why not take some time today to…

Be still . . .

And know . . .

That He is God . . . .

YouTube Video: “Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis Chapman:

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