I was talking to a friend yesterday who mentioned that she had recently gained a great deal from reading Psalm 40 in a modern translation. The conversation reminded my of a book I occasionally dip into for a new and up-to-date look at the psalms. It is Psalms Now by Leslie F. Brandt.
Psalms Now is not a translation but a paraphrase. Brandt has reworded the psalms for clarification - in this case, to put them in language that can be applied in our modern world. You may not like this way of reading the Bible, but for many it brings the scriptures to life. Other modern Biblical paraphrases are The Living Bible and The Message.
As a taster, here is part of Psalm 40 from Psalms Now:
I searched long and shouted loud for God.
It finally paid off. He responded.
He reached into my pathetic emptiness
and planted objective and purpose.
Now I feel like singing;
there is genuine meaning in my life.
And I can tell others about the
prominent place God holds in my heart....
....Our God is not looking for genius;
He does not require great talent.
He is not charmed by our panic-ridden activity.
He simply asks for our faith and our obedience.
It is when He turned me from self-seeking
to follow His will for my life
that I discovered serenity and security....
....I still feel overwhelmed at times
by my faults and fallibilities.
I am disturbed and distressed
when others fail to understand or accept me.
I need to rely on the grace of God....
....As for me, foolish and sinful though I am
I know that God will never cease to love me.