Palm Tree

Encouraging Psalms for Reflection

Trees at Abraham Lake, Alberta

The slow, not-so-steady eruption of spring season is upon us. In my part of the world, this means a melting of snow from one warm day to plunging temperatures the next, reminding me it is not the proper time to pack away my electric blanket just yet.

Although the official day we can name Spring as the season is not here yet, we can still anticipate its soon arrival – a season that expresses growth and hope. Interestingly, we are in the season of Lent, though, and the word Lent derives from the Old English word that means “season of spring.” 

Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday, is meant to be a time of preparation, reflection and repentance that deepens one’s relationship with God. 

Like the refreshing rains of spring that cleanse our streets from accumulated grit, gravel, sand and dust, and wash clean our sidewalks to become pleasant places to walk again, repentance washes away our sin and restores our relationship with God. 

In spring, what was a wicked bend to travel becomes a clear firm path to plant your feet. Repentance, too, turns us away from sin, and aligns us with God’s desires for us. We turn back to all that is good, pure, and holy. 

Just as streams of water from spring rains flow down urban streets, and in the creeks of rural valleys, may we allow God’s forgiveness and loving grace to stream into our minds, hearts, and souls. 

Creek running through trees on a spring day.

All scriptures quoted are from the New International Version of the Holy Bible.

During Lent and Easter, Psalms are often read and are included in a song of praise during worship. The Psalms encourage repentance, reflection, and restoration — all elements of our Lent and Easter season. Psalms also point us to the joy we find in our relationship with God.

Psalm 51

Create in me a pure heart, O God, 
and, renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me. 
Restore me to the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51: 10-12

When we cleanse ourselves from within, we clear our hearts and spirit to be aligned with God’s desires for our lives.

 It’s natural for us to please ourselves rather than God. When we live out our desires that do not align with God’s direction, we can fall into sin. It is sin, too, that distances us from God. 

Asking God with your whole heart to cleanse our thoughts, minds, and spirit, so your desires of your heart align with His, restores your relationship with Him, and brings back your joy of being in relationship with Him.

Rocky Mountain Lake with a bridge in the background.

Psalm 32

Blessed is the one 
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.  Psalm 32: 1-2

The forgiveness of our sins is part of God’s unfailing love for us. When we confess our sins, we affirm our desire for a pure heart rooted in the law of the Lord. We are blessed by God’s faithfulness to forgive our transgressions that he does not count against us. We are brought into the joyful experience of forgiveness that places us back onto His right paths and loving presence. 

Spring path in Elbow Falls, Alberta, Canada

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains-
where does my hope come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121: 1-2

Our loving God is our ever-present help in our darkest valley and in our time of trouble. He is our God of hope with us for all the days of our lives. 

There are days in my life when I forget to turn to the word of God. I try to fix my problems with my own understanding, placing trust in my power, instead of remembering God is the all-powerful, watching over me always! 

Our unconfessed sin, or a cool (distant) relationship with God can cause us to turn away from His steadfast love. The good thing is that we can always turn back to God’s presence through confessing our sins, and acknowledging He is the maker of all things. 

And when we are close to God, we cannot help but enjoy His presence and our souls fill with joy. 

Continue your reflections in the Psalms with the resource below: Get it HERE.

Easter Bible Reading Plan - Prepare for Easter with the Psalms

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  1. Such encouraging reflections and verses, Lynn. And awesome photos. 🙂 It’s so true that when “we allow God’s forgiveness and loving grace to stream into our minds, hearts, and souls,” it is like a refreshing, cleansing spring rain. I love this analogy! Thank you for your encouragement! Love and blessings to you!

  2. Beautiful thoughts and photos, Lynn.
    I like your choice of Psalms. Last fall I published a new book based on Psalm 51 and Psalm 32. It is a prayer centered on repentance.
    Happy soon-to-be spring! We have been having spring-like weather here for a while now. Just hoping it doesn’t turn into winter again. That has happened already after days up to 17′ C and then a dump of snow and very cold temperatures. I’m certainly looking forward to more consistent spring weather and seeing the flowers come up and the trees fill out with leaves. It’s a lovely time for sure.

    1. The weather has been topsy turvy and then turvy topsy lately! I’m guessing that writing your book on those Psalms was a blessed deep dive reflection and learning. Feel free to let us know where we can find your book, Diane. It seems as I get older, the more I look forward to spring and summer weather. May you see the signs of spring soon!

  3. Lynn, this was a beautiful post in photos, in your reflections, and in Scriptures. This >> “We are brought into the joyful experience of forgiveness that places us back onto His right paths and loving presence.” Amen. Repentance brings us back to the place we belong. It restores our joy. It brings sweet relief to our souls. Lent reminds us to “turn back to all that is good, pure, and holy.”

  4. It’s so neat that God pictures resurrection and new life right in the seasons. What a good idea to read the psalms this time of year. I’m so thankful for His forgiveness.

  5. Thank you for sharing these beautiful Psalms. They truly are God’s encouragement and help. And thank you for your beautiful photos of spring “up north!” They help me envision the days of my Alaska kids who are waiting for the snow to melt also!

    1. Hi Bettie! We’ve had some warmer weather lately, so we are experiencing the muddy melt now! The Psalms are very encouraging. I find they help me form my thoughts, too, when I don’t know what to say to God. Have a blessed day!