Psalm 139: 6 Truths to Encourage the ADHD Brain
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
In last week’s blog, I suggested studying Psalm 139 as a means for gleaning encouragement from God’s word. This week, I want to walk you through the Psalm in an inductive Bible study to share with you six truths that have encouraged me and I’ve used to encourage my children. Download a free printable image of these truths here. I’m using the ESV unless noted otherwise, but I encourage you to look it up in several versions and study a section per day over the next week.
Vv. 1-4 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
Truth #1 ~ He knows you, even when you are too overwhelmed to know yourself. The ADHD brain can often become scattered, chaotic, and anxiety-ridden. Even when you can’t figure out what to think or feel or focus on, God knew every thought, feeling and action you would ever experience long before you were born!
Vv. 5-12 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
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.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
Truth #2 ~ He wants to be with you, even in your most shameful moments. Shame is a significant emotion for people with ADHD. We feel shame over the things we can’t seem to get done, the things we forgot to do, and the mistakes we made because we weren’t focused enough to take our time. We feel shame over our mixed up emotions and our sense of isolation. Shame makes us want to hide, but we cannot hide from a God who longs to be with us and calm us with his loving presence!
Vv. 13-16 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Truth #3 ~ He created you just as he intended you to be. You may think because you have ADHD you are flawed somehow. But that implies God made a mistake and he doesn’t make mistakes. His Word says he carefully crafted you like a potter makes a beautiful vase. Each vase is different and may have bumps and variations. We could look at these as imperfections, or we could look at them as unique markings of the hand of the creator.
Vv. 17-18 How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me.[a] And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me! (The Living Bible)
Truth #4 ~He thinks about you often! Translations differ in language here and I’m not a scholar of the Hebrew language, so I cannot give you an opinion of David’s original intent. Some translations talk about God’s thoughts as a whole, and some specify his thoughts about you. Either way, looking at the Bible as a whole, it is safe to say that God does think about you, and he thinks about you more often than you do about him!
Vv. 19-22 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.[b]
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Truth #5 ~ Our hope for conquering our enemies (our shameful, confused thoughts) come from God. At first these verses may feel strange to us. Afterall, most of us don’t have a king chasing us around the country trying to kill us like David did. But isn’t that often exactly the effect our shameful, confused thoughts have? Read the verses again with those more figurative enemies in mind. We need to recognize our harmful thought patterns as the enemy and pray for God to give us victory over them.
Vv. 23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Truth #6 ~ A spirit of humility before God brings not only his forgiveness, but also his guidance. Psalm 51:17 (NIV) says, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” In other words, when we come before God admitting we are broken and need his forgiveness and guidance, he is glorified. This takes humility, which is a costly price, but the results are well worth it.
This may seem like a lot of information, but I would encourage you to break it down. As a family, study one section and one truth a day - or, even better, one a week. Talk about what stands out to you and how these verses encourage you. Maybe they confuse you, and that’s okay too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need to! You can always ask questions via my contact form at the bottom of the page.
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The content found on Flourishing Family Coaching’s website and blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding ADHD, anxiety, depression or any other medical conditions. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.
Bible Gateway. “Psalm 139.” biblegateway.com, 1993, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+139&version=ESV. Accessed 6 1 2021.