DESPERATE: a Psalms study

I thought I was done with desperate—not with being desperate, but with posting about it.  It’s such a now part of my walk with God.  And aren’t we supposed to wait until we’ve successfully walked something out, gotten it way behind us, and then talk about it?

But that’s the thing.  I don’t think desperate is ever behind us this side of heaven.  It’s simply part of the walk.  Certainly, some days and even seasons seem more desperate than others.  But if desperate means I have a driving need to stay close to God and filled with His Word, then I don’t want to be anyplace but desperate.

Still, it’s not only a now part of my walk, it’s a personal part.  I mean, who wants to go around saying, “I’m desperate”?  People might get the idea that I’m losing it, hanging by a thread to my faith.  Okay, actually though, I didn’t think twice about saying it, at least, most of me didn’t.  Only a small part protested . . . that same part that squawked when God moved me to put my image issues on blast . . . and my life on blast when I wrote my memoir.  But I’ve learned that if I know it’s God, I can’t think long about what I think about it.  And this past Friday, I knew He was leading me to do more on desperate.

So are y’all ready for another mini-study?  We did In Hot Pursuit in early 2012 and the Image series in early 2013.  Now we’re going to delve into being Desperate for God.  Specifically, I’m led to focus on a few of my go-to Psalms when my soul is feeling especially desperate.  Like the image series, I’ll upload a video, and we’ll hopefully have a running dialogue on the blog.

I’m kicking it off with the intro video below.  (For those who are receiving this in your inbox, the video doesn’t usually show up.  So here’s the link here.)  I’d love to hear your thoughts after you watch.  And although I know my go-to Psalms, I’d love to hear yours.  Where do you turn in the Psalms when your soul is feeling desperate?

77 Responses to “DESPERATE: a Psalms study”

  1. Kim says:

    Bring it! Perfect timing.

  2. MrsTrip98 says:


    You illustrated what so many of us think who are immersed in the false security of our self-reliant society. “Desperate…who me? Oh no! I have this all under control and need no help.” We think that we are in control and can handle so much when there is an almighty God who says that all we have to do is rely on him. In this case, desperation is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it is resting in the security of the steadfast, boundless strength of THE Almighty.

    This study is right on time for me; I am sitting on ready for this one!

    • Deborah (Debbie) says:

      “…desperation is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it is resting in the security of the steadfast, boundless strength of THE Almighty.” Oh, yeah!!!!

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Ahh, sis, LOVE this–>”…immersed in the false security of our self-reliant society.” YES…so well put. We must have everything under control or at least appear as if we do. And often we don’t realize that that’s pride in God’s eyes. I love that He *wants* us to humble ourselves and rely on Him….to NEED Him. I’m echoing Debbie’s “Oh, yeah!!!!” at this….”…desperation is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it is resting in the security of the steadfast, boundless strength of THE Almighty.” REST…SECURITY…found in desperation….amen!

      So glad you’re ready for this because I’m already loving your input! The Lord always shows up here, and I’m praising Him already for this study.

  3. Deborah (Debbie) says:

    Good Morning, Kim!

    Oh, YES! “…because it does.” There is no way, no how, uh uh that I am able to live in any way that resembles anything but failure apart from HIM. I wrote in my journal a while back that I have failed…miserably at being everything I have been given to be…but God, He is faithful and my hope is in HIM, not in myself or my doings or the outcomes of my doings…my hope and life is in HIM!!! And THAT is a very good thing…not something to be despondent over. This is not a moment for someone to chime in “Oh, no, you are (fill in the blank with something nice)” Even if I am (fill in the blank) if it has any meaning for good whatsoever, it is GOD that makes it so and it is God at work in me and that is incredibly amazing and wonderful… it is not me but HIM. He is so incredibly gracious and merciful and wonderful. I love the Psalms.They capture that and they point us to The One who IS everything to us and everything we need. He is our air and our water and our bread. He is our strength and wisdom. He is and was and ever will be our very life. What a gift from God to us these are…I look forward to this. May God bless you and my fellow Sisters of the blog with great joy in desperation for Him and may He meet that desperation with a growing sense of and fulfillment in Himself.

    • MrsTrip98 says:

      Hi Debbie,

      Joy in desperation…only God can be the center of such a beautiful oxymoron. I was telling Kim that the word desperate has such a negative connotation. However, when it is put into perspective, there is as you said “joy” in the midst of it. Thank you for sharing those beautiful thoughts!

      • Kim Cash Tate says:

        “Joy in desperation…only God can be the center of such a beautiful oxymoron.” AMEN! I love all His oxymorons! :)

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Good Morning Debbie! You know I’m over here nodding as I read your comment….”…no way, no how, uh uh”…exactly! :) And I was ready to jump up and run around this room when I read THIS….”This is not a moment for someone to chime in ‘Oh, no, you are (fill in the blank with something nice)’” YESSSS….we understand the heart behind it, but NO, let me be desperate! Let me grasp (in a good and holy way), the depravity of my flesh and understand that left to myself, I would not and could not please God in the least. Let me NEED Him! (You got me excited with that one….whew!) Love your prayer for the blog sisters. I’m praying as well for God to meet all of us in a unique and glorious way through this study….and in our desperation. I’m expectant!

      • Deborah (Debbie) says:

        …and Kim…isn’t He just the best NEED EVER!!!! (And then to think He pours Himself out to satisfy that need…oh, Hallelujah!)

    • Deborah (Debbie) says:

      Hmmm….I was supposed to put down a favorite Psalm…Hmmm….well, I will come back to that…I would like to say…ALL OF THEM. I think I’d highlight almost every line in that book if I could. It inspires me, comforts me, encourages me, challenges me, convicts me…I guess that’s to be expected. It is God’s word and, well, God’s word can do that you know ;) (I’ll try to come up with a favorite — but it’ll change 5 minutes later or with the circumstances I am facing, I’m sure)

  4. Tamara Davis says:

    Good morning! I haven’t watched the video yet but my go to Psalms has become Psalms 118.

    • MrsTrip98 says:

      “I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.” (v 5) “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” (v 17)

      Tamara, these words are so very meaningful to me as I travel my life current storm. Thank you for sharing these words of strength. I will meditate on them all day today.

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Good Morning, Tamara! I just opened my Bible to Psalm 118, and it’s definitely a go-to Psalm for desperate times. I’ve got a lot of markings on this one. :) I’m sitting here praising God for how He’s provided for us through His Word. What if the Bible were filled with people who had it all together, leaving us to wonder what’s wrong with us? He’s such an awesome God. Thank you for pointing us to this Psalm!

    • Tamara Davis says:

      I was reading a fictional book and the character was telling another character “the Lord is for you.” I stopped right there and was reminded of that passage in Psalms 118. I meditated on that for the rest of the night and didn’t pick up the book again until the next day. I had to settle myself on that…KNOWING and TRUSTING and BELIEVING that He is FOR me. So many times, we are tricked into believing that God is always disappointed with us, mad at us or some other negative words. What lies they are because He clearly tells us in His word “I am with you. I am for you. I will help you!” I rejoiced because God is not about keeping things from us. He is about getting them TO us and following Him to them is the way to go. Apart from Him, I cannot do anything or be anybody. Each day, I grow more and more into that revelation. There is so much peace, courage, strength, love, joy and a whole lot of other stuff in Him.

      I praise God for this new season of my life! I am so thankful for the spiritual deep cleaning! I do look forward to taking part in the Psalms study. I still have a couple of pages printed from the “Hot Pursuit” study and the image study took place right smack dab in the middle of God working on me and my long, deep seated, deep rooted issues with men. (I have a Holy Spirit inspired written exercise from the image study). So, like the other studies, this one too is right on time! Go, ‘head sing it with me “He’s an on time God, yes He is!” :) Welcome to Monday everybody!

      • Danielle says:

        Tam, I can just hear you singin’ and praisin’ all the way down in sunny Florida :) I’m signin’ with you in snowy Chicago!

  5. crystal Eubanks says:

    Im so glad i found this.

  6. Lauren says:

    This is so timely. I am excited about the study, and I will work on being interactive and not just a “lurker” like I am now, LOL. And, thanks Kim for reminding me about the Image study, I may need to revisit that!

    My go to Psalm is Psalm 91:4. “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”

    • MrsTrip98 says:


      Is it not magnificent how his gentle feathered wings serve as our protection? Beautiful! Thanks for sharing :-)

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Lauren, I’m excited that you’re excited about the study, and doubly excited that you’re going to be interactive! :D So thankful that this is timely for you. And YES, if you’re so led, go back and revisit the image study. If you look through the blog posts, you’ll see some great comments and discussion. The blog sisters were very transparent and ministering to one another.

      Psalm 91….DEFINITELY one of my go-to Psalms. I don’t know if it’ll be in this study because I have more than a few…lol But that imagery of being sheltered by the wings of God just blows me away every time. Thankful you’re here, sis!

  7. Brenda says:

    I’m truly in one of the most desperate places in my life emotionally, financially, etc. The only hope I have is believing that He has a plan for me though I feel like a failure in most areas of my life.

    My go to Psalm at this point is 138:8. I have to believe this in spite of my current circumstances.

    This study is so timely…thanks Kim for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Oh, Brenda, I had to stop and pray when I read this. This is one of those times when I wish we were face to face and able to have an extended discussion. And yet, the Holy Spirit is reminding me even as I type that you have all you need….in the Lord. “I’m truly in one of the most desperate places in my life…” You *have* to believe that God knows, God sees, God has even ordained….and you *have* to believe that this desperate place will lead you to a deeper walk with Him. If you don’t believe that, you will grow completely discouraged and lose hope….which is the enemy’s plan for you. God DOES have a plan, for good. He WILL work all things together for your good because you love Him and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Now is when you BELIEVE that. I have a box drawn around Psalm 138:8 in my Bible… “The LORD will accomplish what concerns me…” You have to believe that too. There’s no reservation in that wording. He WILL do it. I take great comfort in noting all the “God will….” in my Bible, because whatever He purposes, He brings to pass. I know what it’s like to be in a desperate place. And one thing I’ve learned is that God is able to rescue from a desperate place. You are being lifted up in prayer. I pray the Lord meets you in a very special way through this study. (((HUGS)))

    • Tamara Davis says:

      Brenda, GOD IS LOVE! Say that to yourself several times. Say it out loud. Then say “there is no failure in love.” Finally, there is no failure in God! Since He created you in His image, you cannot and will not fail. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE.

    • Deborah (Debbie) says:

      Hi Brenda! Praying for you…and I understand the “feeling like a failure part” in fact that’s what I wrote about in my comment today…but here’s what I hold on to — there is nothing that is greater than my God. It is all about HIM. There is no failure, no circumstance, nothing that is stronger, greater, more powerful or life determining than my GOD.(No matter what it “looks” like.) He and He alone is God — not my failures — or my successes. HE IS GOD and He has a VERY good plan and purpose in everything that touches us and is at work to bring that about. And in keeping with the Psalm theme….Psalm 46:1 reminds me that…”God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (NIV) (“ever present” means something like more than present present…as in excessively present…everywhere present…). I am praying you see His hand in everything and that you experience His help which — because He is all wise and knowing and loving — is perfect and exactly what is required. God Bless you with peace and faith as you journey in Him.

      • Brenda says:

        Kim, Debbie & Tamara,

        Thank each of you for yours prayers & encouragement. Your words have been so uplifting. Though this “desperate time” has me wondering how/when He’s going to work things out, I have to stand on His promises you all reminded me of & believe that He will.

  8. Angie says:

    Hey Kim!

    I miss you girl!

    I too am feeling desperate for God…but I love how you put it in such a positive light! It’s a sign of spiritual health, because we know that without Jesus, we are dead men walking. Without an appetite for Him, we wither away. Psalm 42 is one of my “go to” Psalms. “Why are you downcast o my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God; for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Today I will know that I am not feeling desperate alone!

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Hey Angie! I miss you too! I know what you mean because when we’re deeply desperate, it doesn’t *feel* positive. And it won’t *be* positive if we don’t look to the Lord. But in those times that I use it as an opportunity to seek wholeheartedly after God, it’s so beautifully transformed. Psalm 42 is almost always a go-to for me in those times….which might mean I’ll be doing it in this series. :) No, you are not desperate alone!

  9. Pam C. says:

    Desperate…yes! When you know, that you know, that you know! Amen

  10. Felecia c says:

    Hello my sisters!!!!
    Kim this topic…RIGHT ON POINT!!!! I am so thankful for your obedience to God and his nudging to do this topic. I love all the comments thus far and I agree with you all that no one wants to admit their dependence we want to have it together. I mean I’m guilty as well but man has God put me in some situations that has humbled me to a place of accepting my dependence on him. I mean we are not in control! We didn’t choose how we look, where we were born, who our parents are; so what makes us think we can be independent of God and make it? Whenever I get the urge to be independent or the need to have it all together I think about 2 Cor. 12:9; power being perfected in our weakness say what??? Only God could do that! I absolutely LOVE the Psalms like I do not think I could even pick one out but I love Psalm 91, Psalm 112(which I pray over future hubs), and Psalm 63. I’m done putting my two cents in lol I love you guys and I am PUMPED about this study!!!!
    P.S I gladly proclaim my dependence!!!

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Hey Felecia!!! Praising God that this topic is on point for you! YES….”God put me in some situations that has humbled me to a place of accepting my dependence on him”….He will do it! Sometimes even in the littlest things that we *think* we have control over, He’ll show us HOW MUCH we’re nothing apart from Him. :) God’s power being perfected in our weakness is one of those verses that stays in permanent rotation in my mind. :) It’s such a powerful truth and there’s always a situation to apply it to….always. So awesome that you absolutely love the Psalms! I love that so many of us have favorite Psalms too. Gladly proclaiming my dependence with you!

  11. Melinda Lancaster says:

    Ah, yes. I haven’t watched the video yet. But, count me in.I’m desperate, too. Way past desperate if such a place exists.

    Our only son is a prodigal. There is obviously more to the story but right now the hardest part is not knowing where he is or how he is doing. Well, actually the whole thing is devastating. It has affected every part of me. And the holiday season is making it even more difficult.

    I’m supposed to be ministering to others but can hardly minister to myself. Sigh. I hurt. I often turn to the Psalms. Chapter 91 is a favorite. Psalm 139 & 25, too.

    • Deborah (Debbie) says:

      Oh Melinda. My heart hurts for you. There is so much to the prodigal experience for those who love them. It is beyond hard. And when you don’t know where they are well, I can’t even begin to imagine. Of course, I pray that God moves quickly to bring about restoration but I am also praying that God will give you a great sense of peace and the absolute KNOWLEDGE through the whispering of the Holy Spirit that GOD KNOWS where he is and how he is and what GOD is doing to bring about His perfect will in all of this and that there will be a deep sense of contentment and joy “even though” because God is who He is. (I know you know all of what I just prayed but I am praying you will KNOW it deep in the marrow of your bones and heart in a supernatural God given way that impacts your life miraculously). God does miracles…I’m praying for one here.

    • Tamara Davis says:

      Lord, I lift up Melinda to You tonight. Comfort her, encourage her and strengthen her. I lift her son up to You for protection and safe keeping. I pray that Your mercy extends beyond his faults! I pray that Your grace reaches beyond his missteps.

      Care for Melinda in a loving kind way. The Holy Spirit knows all things and therefore, He knows where her son is. Remind her that if she keeps her mind on You, You will keep her in perfect peace. I pray that she remains still so that she can see just how big of a God you are. You are strong. You are powerful. But yet, You are so personal. Remind Melinda of just how personal You are. In the Word, the prodigal son came home. Lord, her son will be home. We stand in faith with her that he will. We praise You now for bringing him back to the loving, safe arms of You and the warm, comforting arms of his mother. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

    • Danielle says:

      Ah, Melinda…I am praying as well. I am not gifted with the beautiful words of Debbie and Tamara (they have ministered to me MANY times!), but my heart is lifting you and your family up to God for peace and restoration. I know what it means to be “past desperate” and my heart breaks for you right now.

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Melinda, my heart breaks for you too. The “past desperation” feeling of not knowing where he is or what he’s doing, yet knowing that, at least in his soul, he’s in a “far off” place. It’s interesting you mentioned Psalm 139, though, because that’s what came to mind as I thought about your son. It’s a favorite for me too because no matter how far off any of us are, we’re not far from God. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten comfort from this… “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” And to know that “even the darkness is not dark” to God (Psalm 139:12)… I’ve been in places where it seemed so dark, and there was absolutely nothing I could do…and my only comfort was in knowing that this was not a dark place to God.

      It’s okay to not be able to pour out to others or to even minister to yourself. It’s okay to sit in God’s presence and weep as often as you need to, and allow Him to minister to you…to fill you with strength and peace, to hold you with His love. This is what we do in desperate and even “past desperate” times…we rest in the only One who knows and understands and can move in a myriad of ways of which we can’t fathom. I’m joining Debbie and Tamara in those beautiful prayers for both you and your son. Love you, Melinda

  12. I’m in. I love the Psalms, some of my favorite go-tos are 91, 118, 37 and 84.

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      So glad you’re in, Krista! I’m nodding my head at your go-to Psalms! :) Looking forward to connecting with you as we move forward with the series….

  13. Ciara says:

    Hey Kim
    I’m so excited about this….our last bible study did wonders for me and I cant wait to start this one. I wanted more answers and I’m about to get them. Thank you so much Kim

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Hey Ciara! I’m so thankful that you were blessed by our last bible study and that you’re excited about this one…praise God! I pray that the Lord will use it to grow us and usher us deeper into His presence. Thank *you* for being part of this blog family…you’re such a blessing.

  14. Megan JOY says:

    I never thought of my desperation (a word I feel with a tightening ache oh-so-often) as being something positive; something that can drive me closer to God, grow my intimacy with and dependence on Jesus. Never before has my heart jumped at the thought of desperation being such a wonderful and beautiful treasure and blessing. I WANT to be desperate! And I pray that, through being desperate, I will turn to my Creator, the All-Mighty, All-Powerful God. He can take my desperation and grow it into the most beautiful garden of flowers, the most intoxicating perfume, the most striking piece of art that ever existed; through desperation will grow my intimacy with God so I will love being desperate.

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Megan, first I can’t believe it’s been a few days since you posted this. The week got away from me with lots of family stuff (not to mention Thanksgiving), and I apologize… Your post truly encourages me, and especially this…”Never before has my heart jumped at the thought of desperation being such a wonderful and beautiful treasure and blessing”…ahhh, I love that… When I posted about being desperate, I guess I knew that not everyone thinks of desperation as a positive. But to hear you say it, and to hear that you now WANT to be desperate…I’m praising God! That’s what this study is all about! YES…God can take that desperation and turn it into something glorious (love “the most intoxicating perfume”). I pray as well that all of us will grow in intimacy with Him through this study and will love being desperate. So thankful that you’re with us…blessings to you, sis!

  15. Danielle says:

    Oh, SOOOOOO ready! Can’t wait to dig in, Kim, and so glad you listed to His nudging. I know we will all be blessed in this place!

    My go-to Psalms are 34, 86, and 139 (although Isaiah 43 is also deeply ingrained on my heart). I’m so ready for this study!

    Oh, and a side note to make you smile…Adanya was watching the video with me, and she waved and said “Hi, Ms. Kim, hi!” Then she turns to me and says “Mom, why isn’t she saying hi back?” :)

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Danielle!!! As I said to Megan, I say to you (and to all the sisters below)…I can’t believe a few days have passed since I’ve been able to reply. Lots of family stuff and Thanksgiving stuff got in the way, and I feel bad because I wanted to stay on top of replies…I do apologize.

      I’m so thankful that you’re ready for this study…and it’s weird because I’m not thankful that you or any of us are desperate (in terms of the situations), but yet, thankful for what God is able to do in our lives and our hearts IN our desperation. You remain in my prayers, and I pray God speaks to your heart in an IMMENSE way through this study. Your go-to Psalms 34 and 139 are among my own…looked up Psalm 86 and immediately saw how it ministers to the desperate soul. Oh, how I love what God has given us in the psalms!

      And my little Adanya!!! How cute is that?!? I’m smiling still as I type this. PLEASE tell Adanya that I’m waving with a big smile and saying, “Hi, sweet girl!!!!”

  16. Pamela McK says:

    Desperate in Chicago!

  17. I’m looking forward to this study. Thank you!

  18. Mona says:

    Morning Kim and Everyone, Im so ready and DESPERATELY in need of this series! Let’s go! Im ready for this new season in my life and I truly believe this series is what I need to jump start my season.
    Thanks Kim!

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Hey Mona! I’m truly praising God at the timeliness of this series. I hope each of us is very aware that we’re not alone in our desperation. I pray this series will be what each of us needs, as only God can uniquely and individually minister it to us. I’m with you…let’s go! Thankful for you, sis!

  19. Tamara Davis says:

    Good morning again ladies! I just finished reading Psalms 104. It thoroughly blessed me to remind me just how big, majestical & methodical God is! Glory! I’ve never read it until today. I also like Psalms 103.

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Hey Tamara! Rejoicing with you at what you’re discovering in the Psalms! And OH YES…when we focus on “just how big, majestical & methodical God is,” it LIFTS us in an amazing way! So much to be found in His Word…I LOVE it!

  20. crystal says:

    I am a desperate woman. Desperate to know more about the goodness of God. To trust him, in this season of my life. I have cried out, I have prayed and sometimes I feel like he doesn’t hear me. I am desperate to know the way, and its not a coincidence that kim posted this to her youtube at this time in my life. The Psalm I cling to in this desperate time in my life is psalm 22. I am going to meditate on this tonight.

    • Kim Cash Tate says:

      Crystal, you are so right that it wasn’t a coincidence that I posted this on youtube, right after you’d been up seeking the Lord. I want you to know that when you’re desperate to know more about the goodness of God and to trust Him, He will meet you in your desperation. It might *feel* like He doesn’t hear…we might have to wait…we never know all that God is accomplishing in a situation. But He is faithful, and when you seek Him, you will find Him. I praise God that He sent you here. I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but Psalm 22 certainly lets me know of your desperation. I pray that He will use this study to draw you near and reveal Himself to you as never before. I’m praying for you, sis.

    • MrsTrip98 says:


      Although God’s goodness is ever present, I struggle to take time and be still long enough to truly see it. I wake in the morning and whisper my love and thanks to him. I feel the wind and hear the birds. Most of all, I feel his peace. What is so troubling is that I allow the flurry and noise of life to interfere with my intimate walk with him.

      Like you, I too am desperate to know more of God’s heart and mind. Thanks for sharing Psalms 22, I will definitely read and meditate on it tonight.

      I look forward to learning with you and the other sister here.