The shortest Psalm is Psalm 117. Just two verses.
Memorize this Psalm, as it has an ability to heal that belies its length. It won’t take long and it is easy to remember.
Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! (vv. 1-2)
That’s it, two verses.
Reading this Psalm recently, I realized Psalm 117 has the secret to overcoming bad memories. Inherent in this Psalm is a principle, when used effectively, can bring peace into difficult emotional distress.
The principle of praise in Psalm 117 has allowed God’s followers to practice for centuries a good forgetting, that science only recently has begun to understand.
Scott Small writes in his book Forgetting:
Like a car engine or any complex dynamic system, synaptic plasticity (your brain) needs both an accelerator and a brake.
Bad memories are stored but literally, the brain has a braking system that overwrites them with good memories. The pain of bad memories recedes as the overwriting molds perspective of gratitude and hope on top of them.
Nothing overwrites or heals better than praise!
I’ve observed this overwriting by watching others grieve after losing a spouse through death. The pain, at first acute, still resides, and we always want to remember our loved ones. But with time, the pain lessons and an appreciative hope begins replacing it.
Literally, loss turns into strength that remembers good times but moves forward into new relationships. All the while giving honor to the spouse now in heaven.
Pain, memory, healing, gratitude, new relationships, and hope.
The brain rewires itself to health if allowed.
Psalm 117 teaches the secret to peace is praise. It overlays the memories of loss with another perspective that brings joy.
Praise, praise, and more praise – your way out of discouragement. Psalm 117 is a quick start that your brain can use to rewire itself.
I enjoy The Passion Translation of Psalm 117. It is longer in length, but you will appreciate the length after understanding the brain’s re-wiring process.
Let everyone everywhere shine with praise to Yahweh! Let it all out! Go ahead and praise him! For he has conquered us with his great love, and his kindness has melted our hearts. His faithfulness lasts forever, and he will never fail you. So go ahead, let it all out! Praise Yah! O Yah! (vv. 1-2 TPT)
The notes in The Passion Translation for “Yah” say: The name Yah is not an abbreviated form of Yahweh; it is the name of God as He displays His power.
During grief, I have heard many say, “I don’t know how I can go on.”
The answer: Praising Yah!