My favourite Psalm has long been Psalm 84. I have even chosen it for the reading at my funeral- though I rather hope it will be many years before that occasion. (But when it is read at my funeral, I will then be more alive than I have ever been!).
The psalm commences: -
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul has a desire and longing to enter the courts of the Lord;
In reflecting on these words I’m reminded that Jesus said: ‘Where your treasure is there will be your heart’.
In Psalm 84 we find a heart whose treasure is God, a life that desires, that longs for, the presence of God. The pilgrim psalmist goes on to write:
Blessed are they who dwell in your house:
they will always be praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion,
The heart of the psalmist knows that significance and strength are found not in our own achievements, but are found in God. This isn’t just encouraging words for the good times, but will see us through the difficult times and the bad times:
Who going through the barren valley find there a spring,
and the early rains will clothe it with blessing.
They will go from strength to strength
and appear before God in Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
listen, O God of Jacob.
Behold our defender, O God,
and look upon the face of your anointed.
For one day in your courts
is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of ungodliness.
For the Lord God is both sun and shield;
he will give grace and glory;
no good thing shall the Lord withhold
from those who walk with integrity.
Though at this moment perhaps what we each need to cling to are the psalms closing words:
O Lord God of hosts, blessed are those who put their trust in you.