Psalm 34:1-7 ESV
“I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.”
The Lord our God should be our everything. He should be on our minds and in our hearts throughout the day and night, not just on occasion. For those of us who have trusted in Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, we should be conscious of his presence with us at all times. And, our passion and our desire should be for him.
He should be who we want to talk about with others. We should want to lift him up and to give him praise always. Since he is our life, and we share our lives with others, then he should be on our lips a lot. And, we should delight in the fellowship of the saints with whom we exalt him together.
Oh, how I love my times with the saints of God who love Jesus and who want to share about him, too. Those are precious times to me.
We need to especially be encouraging one another right now because the world is going crazy. We need to encourage one another to not be afraid of what is happening or of what may yet come. We need to help strengthen one another in our walks of faith, and urge one another to call on God in our suffering and to believe that our Lord will deliver us from our fears.
We need to reach out to one another in love and help one another to walk through these trying days in the strength of the Lord and in his power. And, we should be sharing scriptures like this with one another to encourage one another to walk in the fear of the Lord, and not in the fear of man.
Psalm 34:8-14 ESV
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
“Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.”
With all that is happening in this world right now, and with all the confusion, the uncertainty, and the upheaval of our lives, we need to taste and see that the Lord is good. For, he most certainly is!
Even in the bleakest of times, he is still good. For, he is allowing what he is allowing so that we will take part in him, and so that we will feed on him, and so that we will make him our refuge and our strength, and so that we will cease looking to humans and to the gods of this world to satisfy the deep longings of our hearts.
He is allowing what he is allowing so that we will walk in the fear of the Lord, and so that we will honor, glorify and magnify him as the Holy God that He is. For, he wants us surrendered to him, with our lives on the altar, holy and pleasing to God. And, that we be no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but that we be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sinful practices to walks of obedience to Jesus Christ.
And, he will provide what we need, not necessarily all that we want, or that we think we need, but what we really need, i.e. what is most essential to our lives in him in light of eternity with God.
God is allowing us to go through some hard times right now so that we will listen to him, and so that we will follow his lead. He is taking us through a trial right now to prune us, and to purge us of all evil, so that we will forsake our sinful ways, and so that we will walk in his truth, in his ways, and in his holiness, and so that we will now do good and not evil.
Psalm 34:15-22 ESV
“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”
Who are the righteous? They are not merely those who are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, who were made righteous by the blood of Christ shed on the cross for our sins. But, they are those who live righteously in the power of God, by his grace, in his strength, and because of what Jesus did for us on that cross in delivering us out of our slavery to sin (Rom. 2:13; Rom. 6:15-20; Rom. 8:4; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 2:29; 1 Jn. 3:7).
So, the eyes of the Lord are toward those who are walking in (living to) his righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:24). His ears are attentive to their cry. And, the Lord’s face is against those who do evil (Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
When we go through difficult times, which we are certainly all going through right now, as the people of the world, the Lord will deliver us out of our troubles if we call on him in truth, and if we are walking in his righteousness. But, he may not deliver us from the circumstances themselves, for he may be using those to purify our hearts, to prune us, and to make us more like him.
So, if you call on God to deliver you from all this stuff that is going on in the world, don’t be upset with God if things only get worse, which they may. But, realize that God called us to a life of suffering for righteousness’ sake, and our deliverance can be from fear or worry or doubt or despair. He may deliver us by giving us his strength and endurance to make it through the trial rather than to escape the trial. We just have to put our trust in Him.
In Christ Alone
By Stuart Townend & Keith Getty
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand…
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