It is a remarkable feature of the Psalms that expressions of joy are often in-congruent with the

[psalmists’ circumstances]. External circumstances make the psalmists anxious and throw them into grief, but it is not the change in these circumstances that makes them happy. They often express genuine joy before anything changes. They express joy in times of abundance and pleasure and, with equal and sometimes greater intensity, in times of hardship and loss, demonstrating that external circumstances have very little to do with happiness.

Sometimes the psalmists get what they plead for and sometimes they don’t but in both cases, the process of seeking God shapes their desires into something different from what they initially thought they wanted from God. The process of seeking God has lifted [the psalmist’s] gaze to something higher. he has reconnected with the love of God, and in doing so, he has rediscovered his sonship.

-Matthew Jacoby in Deeper Places

Bible Study


  1. How does David’s desert experience inform his language?
  2. David mentions a past experience of intimacy with God (v.2). How might this have prepared him for his time in the desert?
  3. What are some ways you can prepare for hard times that test your faith?