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Right at this point, the Psalms do something else for us, and it is utterly crucial what they do. It’s not in the middle of the Bible by accident. Oh, what a precious, precious book. Can you live without it? Can you live without the Psalms? Can you survive without the Psalms? Can you fight for joy without the Psalms? I have no idea how anybody survives without this help that God put in the middle of our Bible.
They do something else for us. They keep us from being naïve, from having a naïve optimism about the emotional possibilities of fallen people. And they help us navigate the seas of embattled emotions. When we’re born again, the Spirit of God opens the eyes of our hearts to see God — to see Christ, to see his beauty, his glory in the cross, in the gospel — as more valuable, more precious, more satisfying than anything. That’s how you become a Christian: you see him that way.
Psalms - Make - Plain - Naïve - Gaze
However, it would be, the Psalms make plain, naïve and unbiblical to think that our gaze on the glory of Christ remains so clear to the end of our days, and that the responsiveness of our heart to that sight of glory remains so intense to the end of our days that the Christian life is one of unclouded vision of God and unhindered joy in God. That happens for nobody — except one person, and he is in heaven.
The Psalms, more than any other book in the Bible, illustrate that sobering fact. The psalmists’ vision of God is often obscured. The psalmists’ joy in God is often conflicted and embattled.
I am lonely and afflicted.
because of your indignation;
because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
and have not gone out with our armies.
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