I recently had lunch with two traveling representatives from Faith Baptist Bible College. In addition to representing the college, both of these young men are actively studying for the ministry. Indeed, they were young, eager, and had many questions about life and ministry. They asked many good questions, but one question in particular was especially great…One of them asked, “What are your go-to passages in a counseling situation? When things fall apart in someone’s life where do you take them in the Scriptures?” Here was my response:
1. Psalm 13 – For those being pulled by the strong rip currents of suffering, I take them to Psalm 13. Yes, for all those desperate for answers and relief Psalm 13 is a ray of hope and light.
2. Psalm 23 – Arguably the most famous chapter in the entire book of Psalms, Psalm 23 is literally appropriate for any season of life. With God’s presence promised even in “the valley of the shadow of death” and “His goodness and mercy” promising to chase us down “all the days of my life”, Psalm 23 is strong enough to breathe new life into dying situations and get fearful, anxious people over the hope line.
3. Psalm 46 – This is definitely one of my favorite back pocket Scripture texts for those entering Depression’s dark Mansion of Horrors. This psalm provides powerful reminders that since “God is our refuge and strength”, we only need to “be still, and know that I am God.”
4. Psalm 88 – Ah, yes! For anyone who is feeling alone, abandoned, or betrayed, Psalm 88 is dynamite. It literally ends with the words, “Darkness is my closest friend.” Fade to black…
5. Psalm 121 – Everyone feels the weight of this fallen world from time to time, and for those especially burdened by the nastiness of it all, Psalm 121 is a dear friend. “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
So, there you have it…The Big 5…My go-to list when life gets tricky. And remember, friends, the darkness is mighty thick out there, but so is Gospel hope…