8 Encouraging Psalms for strength in tough times

Christian Encouragement

8 Encouraging Psalms for strength in tough times

“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”

1 Samuel 30:6 (NKJV)

The entire chapter of 1 Samuel 30 tells of a very encouraging and powerful story. David and his men returned from war to their home and saw that their whole city had been burned with fire by the Amalekites and their wives and children taken away as captives.

“Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

1 Samuel 30:4

The men were devastated and had every right to be. Let’s be honest, men generally don’t cry (at least not in public). But these men wept-they sobbed, wailed, grieved and mourned until they didn’t have the power to keep crying.

In their grieving, they felt they needed someone to blame and who better that their leader David. These men must have thought that if they hadn’t been out with David, none of this would have happened. They would have defended their city and families had they been present.

So, they started to plot about killing David. My favorite part in the story is right after David realized his own men were turning against him and planning to betray him. David’s response is remarkable and inspirational- “He encouraged Himself in the Lord”

Tough times are never easy

Have you ever been through tough times? Have you been betrayed by those you love? Have things happened in your life that were so unexpected that you didn’t know if you will ever recover?

All this can cause us to lose the strength to go on with life. We lose hope for the future. Joy is lost and replaced with fear and anxiety. Doubt in ourselves and doubt in God sets in. Ultimately we feel weak, discouraged and with no strength physically, mentally and spiritually.

David, a great example

But can we take a leaf from David’s life? When all hope seemed to be lost, when all his friends had turned against him, when he possibly had no home because the city had been burned down, when he had lost his family (his 2 wives had been captured)David strengthened and encouraged himself in the Lord.

It’s great to get encouragement from friends and family and from the body of Christ. But I believe God wants us to look to Him as our main source of strength especially in tough times.

Since David wrote most of the Psalms- it’s an amazing and honest book to offer us words of encouragement and strength in tough times.

8 Powerful Psalms for tough times

8 Encouraging Psalms for strength in tough times

1. Psalm 121:1-2

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

This is one of my favorite Psalms to hold on to in hard seasons. We don’t focus down and pity ourselves in tough times but we look up confidently.

We look unto our Helper who is on the Hills-on Calvary-on the Cross-His name is Jesus Christ.

He is the Creator of heaven and earth, the author and finisher of our faith and when He died on the cross, He said “It is finished”.

All enemies are under His feet, including death. He has all the power. He has overcome the world and all the problems and challenges we will face in it.

So, in tough times, we look to Him to strengthen us because that is what He died for- for us to live a victorious life in Him.

2. Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

The flesh is weak and our hearts are deceptive. In tough times, they will fail us. Our hearts and minds will feed us lies from the devil in tough times.

You know the lies:

  • God doesn’t love you, He doesn’t care about you. If He did, why would He let you go through this tough situation?
  • You will never recover from this
  • It’s over for you
  • No one cares about you
  • You are a failure

But God.

But God.

That is when the narrative has to change for us as believers. That is where the story changes. Just like for David. But God is our strength, He is our heritage. Not only for a moment or season, but forever. That means-always. He will always be there for us to carry us when life is hard.

3. Psalm 119:28

My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your word.

When our souls and hearts are heavy and we feel weak and powerless, the Lord will strengthen us with His Word. And the Word of God is Jesus Christ Himself.

Reading the Word of God is meeting with Jesus. Spending time in His Word, reading the Psalms and other passages will remind us of what a powerful and mighty God we serve.

4. Psalm 59:16

But I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble.

We sing and rejoice in the Lord because we know He is merciful towards us. He is the one we run to in tough times because He is all powerful.

He is the Mighty warrior who defends us and fights all our battles. In Him, victory over problems is certain.

Quote for strength in tough times

5. Psalm 18:1-2

I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold

We love the Lord because He loved us first and proved it. We love Him for He strengthens us and delivers us from our enemies and from tough situations.

We can trust in God because we know He is for us, He is within us and He goes before us.

6. Psalm 62:1-2

Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved

We’re not discouraged when we trust whole-heartedly in God. He is the Ultimate Savior of our lives. Even in tough times we fix our gaze upon Him, waiting for Him to strengthen us.

He is the rock that we can lean on when we feel weak. In Him, we will not be shaken or moved but will stand firm in our faith.

7. Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.

God is our strength and protector. Our hearts need to trust Him that He will help us through what we’re going through. He will help us and give us strength. We can rejoice in Him when we remember that ‘This too shall pass’.

We can praise Him because He always leads us to victory. We can rejoice in Him because we know He has rescued us before from tough times and He will do it again.

8. Psalm 22:19

But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!

When we’re going through tough times, we need to call upon God to be close to us, to be with us and to come and help us quickly. The Lord is always faithful to answer our prayers in times of need. He is our strength to carry on.

Back to David

When you read the rest of 1 Samuel 30, you learn that David did pray to God and asked God if he should fight the Amalekites and if victory was certain and God’s answer was a resounding YES!

So David did have victory and recovered EVERYTHING that had been stolen from him and his people. So the story does have a happy ending.

My encouragement to you

Life is tough. And being a believer in God doesn’t exempt us from tough seasons. The difference is we have hope and that hope is in Jesus Christ. When we go though the hard times He will carry us and strengthen us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is for us.

Prayer for strength in tough times

Let’s pray

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the King of kings who is all powerful. Victory belongs to You. You are mighty and my ever present help. You are my refuge in times of trouble.  Forgive me for not trusting in you during the tough times of my life.

From today onwards, teach me to look unto you for strength in the hard seasons. May I be able to encourage myself in the Lord. May I remember that your Word will strengthen me. Thank you that you are my Helper, Savior and friend.

In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

8 Encouraging Psalms for strength in tough times


  1. Emily Susanne

    July 20, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you for this post of Biblical encouragement! I’ve always loved Psalm 121.

    1. Joni Steinauer

      July 24, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you for thos beautiful post. We all need to remember that God is there for us in the good times and the bad. Blessings, Joni

  2. Elizabeth

    July 20, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    These are great scriptures to mediate on. Thanks for the prayer


    July 20, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    This is so beautiful Tinasha! You are so right, we may get encouragement from friends family and Church. But we should mostly get our strength and encouragement from the Lord Himself. This is a beautiful compilation of Psalms. Thank you for writing and sharing this, straight from the heart of God. ❤

    1. Ava James

      July 22, 2020 at 9:53 am

      Psalm 62 is so encouraging and taking the view…from now onwards looking to God for strength. Very uplifting post, thanks!

  4. Emily

    July 20, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    The Psalms are the perfect book to read from the Bible to encourage a weary heart! Thank you for sharing your favorites.

  5. Teresa

    July 20, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    I don’t do it often enough, but I really enjoy praying Psalms. They have certainly been the go-to scripture for us during difficult times.

  6. Tammy Jo

    July 21, 2020 at 12:06 am

    Just love these encouraging words and how well you spelled them out!
    Prayers up!

  7. Elizabeth Daghfal

    July 21, 2020 at 2:26 am

    Ahh, But God…And God…For God…Then God. I love how we see God working in all types of circumstances–but no matter what, it all comes down to Him. It’s incredibly encouraging to see all of David’s emotions clearly written in the Psalms–and to know that God wants us to come to Him. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Mary Armand

    July 21, 2020 at 3:05 am

    What a great resource! Pinned to share!

    1. Teresa

      July 21, 2020 at 10:35 pm

      Love this post of encouraging Psalms! But God. God is always the answer to every need. Thank you for this reminder to seek God in His Word in the hard times of life. Very needed in our world right now.

  9. Arrica Hess

    July 21, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Man, that David led a hard life but he really loved the Lord!! Thank you for this biblical example and for all of the encouraging Pslams. Great resource.

  10. jenna

    July 21, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    I love Psalms! Going to print these out and hand them throughout the house. Thank you!

  11. Reaiah Rose

    July 21, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Such great scriptures of encouragement. Saved and pinned it to have as future reference. These are scriptures I could keep going back to. Thanks

  12. Mary Armand

    July 22, 2020 at 1:58 am

    Very encouraging post & I appreciate all of the Bible verses! The difference is as Christians we have hope…love that part!

  13. Kari Minter

    July 22, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    This is just so perfect! Thank you so much for putting all these together in one spot and encouraging my soul today!

  14. Wendy @ One Exceptional Life

    July 23, 2020 at 11:46 am

    These Scriptures in Psalms are great reminders of a loving, Heavenly Father who always loves us and cares for us. I love that Elizabeth Elliott quote!

    1. Adriana David

      July 23, 2020 at 6:22 pm

      Hi! Thank you so much for such an inspiring and uplifting blog post this week! I love Psalm 73:26.

  15. Collene

    July 23, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    I loved how you put this together. Reminding us in the hardest of times to strengthen ourselves in the Lord. I love all the verses you shared as well!

  16. Meghan Villatoro

    July 24, 2020 at 5:13 am

    These are some tough times for us all, so I know I really appreciated this! That quote from Elisabeth Elliot is really powerful!

  17. Dani James

    July 24, 2020 at 10:54 am

    This is brilliant, so encouraging, explained so well and very helpful!

  18. Barbara

    July 24, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Emmanuel, God with us! I love the name of your blog! At least your title makes me think of the word Emmanuel. The 8 Psalms you chose to encourage us for strength in tough times are perfect! Your beginning verse really sets the stage because David is our best example showing us that we must encourage ourselves in the Lord. As much as my husband makes me laugh and fills my life with joy and love, he cannot come even close to what the Lord does in my heart, soul and mind when I need strength to get through another day. Beautiful, outstanding post! Thank you!

  19. Stephanie

    July 26, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    The Psalms have always been my favorite. When I was a little girl, I’d fall asleep with my Bible opened to Psalms because I’d read for hours on end. It’s such a comforting book, and beautiful too! This is such a wonderful post.

  20. Karen

    July 26, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I love all of these Psalms for strength! It is amazing how much scripture can soothe troubles and worry and provide the strength we need as we focus of Jesus.

  21. Adriane

    July 26, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    I need to bookmark this post because it has such powerful words all over it. Thank you for researching and finding all the most encouraging psalms we need to get through tough times.

  22. inthemidstclub

    July 26, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    I love Psalm 62:1-2! One of my favorites. This is great list that I need to save for future reference.

  23. Summer

    July 26, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    It’s true what you said about Christians not being exempt from tough times. These days a false gospel is being preached that says that “if you want a better life, just come to Jesus”. That’s not a gospel that saves. That said, thank you for this list of Psalms to encourage me when I walk through storms.

  24. Jessie

    July 27, 2020 at 12:30 am

    I’ve just started reading the Psalms, and I love how it covers every emotion there possibly is in human life. You picked 8 amazing ones!

  25. Betty Rojugbokan

    July 27, 2020 at 3:31 am

    Thank you for this post on encouragement in tough times. I never get tired of reading about how David encouraged himself in the Lord.

  26. Mamie

    July 28, 2020 at 1:24 am

    This is encouraging. Using scripture always helps to encourage and keep me rooted.

Leave a Reply