How does salvation change our emotions, affections, and passions? Psalms train emotions by appealing to every emotion and situation we have and teaching us how to respond in a godly way.
Why do we struggle to pray? We praise, petition, and thank God, but what do we do when we don't feel like it? How do we thank and praise God when we don't get what we want and we don't like the situation he's put us in?
Psalms are God-breathed art to train our emotions and train our prayers. Many of us don't stop long enough to meditate (think deeply) about God. When we do pray, we start blathering and don't stop to listen. We don't have ears to hear God. We burn our time on social media. Even if we don't, we find other things to burn our time. We have spiritual ADD and don't STOP to meditate on God. The Psalms are beautiful God-inspired meditative reflections of people who STOPPED to listen, reflect, and express their love of God.
In Psalm 111, we see King David beautifully meditating on God. This psalm is written an acrostic in the original Hebrew language. This was for the purpose of helping people remember it. For us, that means whatever it contains is worth remembering and reflecting on. King David was the king of 6 million people. He was busier than you. Still, he made time to stop, meditate on God, and write the longest book in the Bible.
The Psalm begins by mentioning community worship. In community, we see others worship God and are inspired to do so ourselves. The psalmist continues by rehearsing all the awesome things God has done in order to thank and praise him. He meditates and reflects on the things God has done for his nation and for him personally. What has God done in your life?
Delighting in God is the psalmist's theme in verse 2 and beyond. He delights in the thought that everything happens exactly how God wants it to. How many different things had to happen perfectly to bring you to salvation, both in your personal life and in history? Delight in those works. This should lead you to praise (verse 3). There are all kinds of evil in your past, difficult circumstances or sin. Nevertheless, God can never be blamed and charged with error, according to the psalmist. God never says, "oops." When everything is a mess in your life, the only thing that is certain is that God is good. The psalmist bases his response to circumstances on the character of God. His emotional reaction is a response to God's character of goodness and not his own loss or benefit.
God gives us signposts along the way to remind us of his good character, such as the Lord's Supper, watching baptisms, sermons, corporate worship, and the accountability relationships of mutual discipleship. If you are looking for miracles to see God's work, just STOP and think about your own life. Don't just intellectually agree that God is merciful and gracious (verse 4). Stop and contemplate it. All your blessings are undeserved. Think about how God did not create a plan of grace and redemption for fallen angels. They didn't get a second chance but you did. Jesus did not miraculously heal everybody he came into contact with. He passed by many but healed some. God could have passed you up, but he graciously saved you instead. "This is not your own doing. It is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). God does not owe you anything.
God also does not need to explain himself to you. Our consuming thought should not be trying to understand why everything happens. All we need to know is that God is good, he is in control, and his plan is better than yours. His plans are always good and always succeed (verses 7-8).
The goal of the Christian life is not to get a better version of yourself but to get God, loving and delighting in him.