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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

Psalm 16:8-11: I Have Set The Lord Always Before Me

Welcome to Day 18 for a short powerful devotion from our 30 Psalms For Anxiety, Fear, Worry, And Depression bible plan. This short devotional is from Psalm 16-8-11. And make sure to join me in prayer at the bottom of this post.

I have set the Lord always before me

Read Psalm 16:8-11 ESV: (Click on the verse to read it in various translations)

"I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

David, the Psalmist and known as the man after God's own heart penned these beautiful words found in Psalm 16. This is my own personal key to calming anxious thoughts that rise up in me when I feel overwhelmed with situations that pop up regularly that I have no control over.

Psalm 16:8-11 meaning

David most likely wrote Psalm 16 during one of his many times of struggle or opposition.

Considering David's life, there are several instances that could have inspired him to write this psalm. For instance, during his time as a fugitive from King Saul, David faced numerous threats to his life and experienced the need to trust in God's protection. Additionally, he may have written this psalm during other challenging periods, such as when he faced opposition from enemies or during his time of repentance following his sin with Bathsheba.

Psalm 16 expresses David's confidence in God's protection, guidance, and provision. He speaks of finding refuge in God, acknowledging Him as his Lord and source of every good thing. David also expresses his assurance of God's faithfulness, even in the face of difficulties and challenges.

Psalm 16 is also known as a Messianic Psalm. David was a prophet and many of his Psalms prophesied of the coming Messiah (Jesus). This Psalm makes a clear reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His ascension into heaven. Right now Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God and He is interceding on our behalf.

devotional study I have set the Lord always before me Psalm 16:8-11

How do I set the Lord always before me?

Is this a question that you have asked?

This is such an important question to ask, how to set the Lord always before you, and I shall list a few of the things that I do to keep God in the forefront of my mind. These actions are the perfect antidote to anxiety because they put your focus back on El Shaddai (God Almighty, The All-Sufficient One). He takes care of you.

In times of hardship, finding solace in the presence of the Lord brings immense comfort. When uncertainties cloud your path, whether it's contemplating your future, seeking guidance in relationships, or dealing with unkindness, remember that the Lord remains by your side. No matter the challenges you currently face, the constant assurance of the Lord's unwavering presence is a source of great comfort and strength.

Tips on setting the Lord always before you

Setting the Lord always before you involves cultivating a conscious awareness of God's presence (you may have already seen our Practicing The Presence Of God Bible study - I will leave a link below for you to read all about it) and making Him the focal point of your life.

Here are some practical ways to help you in this endeavor:

  1. Regular Prayer: Develop a consistent prayer routine where you talk and listen to God daily. Spend time in conversation with Him, expressing your praise, and gratitude, seeking His guidance, and pouring out your heart.

  2. Study God's Word: Engage in regular study of the Scriptures to deepen your understanding of God's character, His promises, and His will for your life. Meditate on His Word and let it shape your thoughts and actions.

  3. Worship and Praise: Dedicate time to worship and praise God. Sing songs of adoration, listen to uplifting music, or engage in personal worship where you honor and exalt Him. Cultivate a heart of gratitude and praise throughout your day.

  4. Seek His Guidance: Involve God in your decision-making process. Before making choices, seek His wisdom and guidance through prayer, seeking counsel from mature believers, and consulting the Scriptures. Trust in His direction and follow His leading.

  5. Practice the presence of God: Throughout your day, develop a habit of consciously acknowledging God's presence. Whether you're at work, at home, or in public, remind yourself that God is with you. Invite Him into your thoughts, conversations, and activities, seeking to honor Him in all you do.

  6. Surrender and Trust: Surrender your will and desires to God, trusting Him with every aspect of your life. Let go of self-reliance and lean on His strength. Trust that He is working all things for your ultimate good, even in difficult times.

  7. Community and Fellowship: Surround yourself with fellow believers who can encourage and support you in your walk with God. Engage in meaningful relationships where you can share your faith, pray together, and grow spiritually.

  8. Reflect and Repent: Regularly take time for self-reflection, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal areas in your life that need repentance and transformation. Confess your sins and shortcomings to God, seeking His forgiveness and His help in becoming more like Him.

Remember, setting the Lord always before you is an ongoing process that requires intentionality and a sincere desire to draw closer to God. As you seek Him with an open heart, He will reveal Himself to you and draw near to you, and those overwhelming feelings of anxiousness should in time diminish.

You make known to me the path of life

Take to heart Psalm 16:11 and use the words as a thanksgiving prayer. David closes out Psalm 16 with the words, " You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

David expresses his gratitude to the Lord for revealing to him the path that leads to eternal life. He acknowledges that the destination, heaven, is far from mundane or unexciting. Instead, it is a realm filled with boundless joy and everlasting pleasures. The pinnacle of this joy is found in the presence of Jesus Himself.

While we wait for our time in Heaven, we can enjoy God's refreshing presence here on Earth in the midst of difficult circumstances. God wants to walk with you through the good times and the bad times of life. He wants to be your strength and guide you through the many stressful decisions that you need to make.

What is God saying to you through Psalm 16:8-11?

Do you set the Lord always before you?

Have you tried any of the tips that I listed above to set the Lord always before you?

Take some time now or throughout the day to stop and ponder what Psalm 16:11 means to you. Are you experiencing the fullness of joy in God's presence?

Free printable prayer journal

Use our free printable prayer journal that was specifically designed for our 30 Psalms challenge on anxiety or a notebook to answer those questions above. You can download it here. Use it to go deeper as you ponder all that God will reveal to you as you spend time in His presence.

Psalms for anxiety printable workbook

Bible affirmation: Remind yourself often of these biblical truths.

  1. If you have set the Lord always before you, God is at your right hand, you will not be shaken.

  2. God will not abandon you.

  3. In His presence, there is fullness of joy even when you endure difficult trials as David did!

Scripture prayer: Psalm 16:8-11

Join me in praying Psalm 16:8-11.

Heavenly Father, we come before Your presence, to thank You for the treasures found in seeking You. Lord, we yearn to set our gaze upon You and keep You ever before us. In a world filled with distractions and uncertainties, help us to fix our eyes unwaveringly on Your unfailing love and steadfast guidance. Guide our steps, Lord, that we may walk in alignment with Your perfect plan for our lives. Fill our hearts with unwavering confidence, knowing that You will never abandon us. Though trials may come, we find our gladness and our refuge in You. Amen.

Other encouraging bible verses:

Related Resources:

You will find the 30 Psalms For Anxiety, Fear, Worry, And Depression bible plan HERE It will have the list of 30 Bible verses that we are using for 30 days for our bible challenge.

Connect: Join me on Facebook and Instagram for daily encouragement. If you have enjoyed this devotional, share it with Facebook using the button below or pin the graphic above to Pinterest. Help me spread God's joy to everyone! If you would like to have more fellowship with a wonderful bunch of faith-filled women, come over to our Facebook Group, Restoring Beauty For Ashes.

Karen xx.


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