READ: Psalms 32-34
THINK: It's likely that most of the spiritual and emotional turmoil that people experience in life could be alleviated if only people realized that they could be forgiven. Too many individuals carry needless guilt, grudges, grievances and regret that God desires to take from them so they can experience the purposeful and fulfilling life for which He created them. That life may not be easy, but the freedom that comes from forgiveness-when given and received-brings a peace, contentment and hope that only God can give.
RESPOND: What's the meaning of the term "maskil" in the title of several psalms? (See ch. 32 title note.) What's the primary emphasis in Psalm 32? What happens in a person's life if he or she tries to hide or hang on to sin (32:3- 4)? What happens with a person who confesses and gives up his or her sin (32:5-7)? What are the benefits of being forgiven by God? (See 32:1 second note.) What does God's forgiveness mean in a person's life? (See 32:1 note, subpoints 1-3.) What does 32:8 promise to God's forgiven followers? (See 32:8 note.) For what acts and character traits does the psalm writer praise God in chapter 33? How can knowing that God watches all we do (33:14-15) affect our lives and behavior? Who is God always looking out for in a special way (33:18)? (See 33:18-19 note.) How is Psalm 34 an encouragement to all followers of God who go through struggles or pain? What role do angels serve in relation to God's people? (See 44:7 note.) In what ways can people "taste and see that the LORD is good" (34:8)? What does God promise to those who reverently "fear" and sincerely "seek" the Lord? (See 34:9 note.) To whom does God listen and pay special attention (34:15-18)? Does being faithful to God ensure freedom from trouble? Why or why not? (See 34:19 note.) What are some reasons godly people might encounter trouble? What is God's promise to His faithful people through times of trouble (34:19)? What assurance do all who take refuge in God have (34:22)?
PRAY: Confess any known sin in your life and receive God's forgiveness. Give thanks that you can always take refuge in God.
ACT: Do everything you do today with the knowledge that God is watching over you. Rather than causing guilt or insecurity, allow this knowledge to encourage and strengthen your faith and dependence on God.
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