It's said that confession is good for the soul. It can be. Reflection is also good for the soul, especially when we reflect on God's goodness.
Reflection on God's goodness is a common theme throughout the psalms. It's expressed in the midst of difficulty and in times of blessing.
But how much time is given to reflection nowadays? Are we too busy to take time for reflection? It does take time. It also requires us to extract ourself from the usual demands on our time.
A psalm of David.
Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge. I said to the lord, “You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.” The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods. [vss 1-4]
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. [vss 5-8]
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. [vss 9-11]
(Psalm 16:1-11 NLT) [Context– Psalm 16]
Key phrase— You will show me the way of life
[bctt tweet="You will show me the way of life"]
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What is the opening request and confession? How does it lead into the rest of the psalm?
How does King David reflect on God's goodness? How is this contrasted with those seeking other gods?
What are specific things David is thankful for? What does this prompt him to declare?
What are the realizations he expresses in the last few verses? How does this complete his thoughts at the beginning of the psalm?
Stillness of heart and mind are benefits of reflecting on God's goodness. The great thing is—it's free! It doesn't cost a thing or require great skill.
But it does require willingness to redirect our thoughts and empty ourselves of worry and doubt. It's hard to do this with sheer will power, but reflecting on God's goodness is a great place to start.
Some people find watching a sunrise or sunset a way to focus on God's goodness. Others find prayer and meditation on God's Word a good place to start. I've found I can reflect on God's goodness in a room full of family and friends, or in a worship service, as well.
Two important things seem essential—reflecting on God's goodness and a thankful heart. Then we will be able to proclaim with David—
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Have you experienced the benefit of reflecting on God's goodness?
Why do you think it's so hard to disengage ourselves from the many things demanding our time?
How do you find time to disengage from the world around you and reflect on God's goodness?
What do you find most helpful in focusing on God's goodness and being thankful?
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?