The Ministry to Seafarers (M2S)

Psalm 116 Journal Starter

Hi friends! Thank you so much for joining us here.

We hope these journal starters spark reflection on the Psalms.

If you want to, you can share some of your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear how God is working in your heart.

You can listen to Psalm 116 here. You can find Psalm 116 in the New International Version here.

Journal Starter for Psalm 116

The first line of this psalm is, "I love the LORD, for he heard my voice." Again and again, the psalmist wrote about how God heard him. Part of his response to God hearing him is that he continued to call on Him (verses 2, 13, and 17). 
-Imagine that you are able to see God while praying. What do you imagine Him looking like as you talk to Him? Is He close to you? Far away? Facing you? What does His face look like?

-What might this show you about your heart's beliefs about God? God hears you and cares about you whether you imagine He does or not, but take some time to talk to Him about how your heart is currently seeing him.

-Picture God with you again, but this time imagine Him based on what is true about Him—that He always listens to you and loves your more than anyone else possibly could.  What do you imagine Him looking like now?

-If you are feeling guilty or ashamed as you imagine being in God's presence, ask why that is. If you have confessed your sins and turned away from them, He has forgiven you completely and cleansed you from all unrighteousness. Jesus paid for ALL your sins. Not one is counted against you. If you are struggling with temptation you can talk to God about it. Don't hide it from Him! Jesus was tempted in every way, too. We NEED God's help to obey Him in the face of temptation. 
In verse 7 the psalmist wrote, "Return to your rest, my soul,/ for the LORD has been good to/ you." He went on to praise God for how He delivered him. 
-Get into a relaxed position. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Try to let go of any tightness in your forehead, neck, and shoulders. Spend two to three minutes focusing your mind on the ways God has been good to you. Either keep your eyes closed and picture all the ways he has been good to you or write them down.

-If you find that you cannot feel at rest or keep your mind from your stresses, that's okay. Acknowledge your distraction and ask God to help you refocus. 
The psalmist responded in gratitude to the LORD through formal acts of worship, but also with the way he lived his life. He said, "Truly I am your servant, LORD" and that this servitude is the kind that frees (verse 16). 
-Write down your first reaction to this question: Who are you a servant to? Does being a servant to that person or thing set you free?

-What would it look like to be God's servant first and foremost and serve others as if you were serving the Lord, not people (Ephesians 6:7)?
Because the psalmist had been delivered, he was able to "walk before the LORD/ in the land of the living" (verse 9). Another translation is, "in the presence of the Lord" (TEV). 
-You can live every second of your life WITH God. He sees you completely and knows you completely. How does knowing this comfort you as you think about your "walk" through the rest of your day?

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