Psalm 34:17-22 [NLT]
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
20 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
not one of them is broken!
21 Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
Your word says you hear when we call for help. LISTEN to me
Your word says you rescue us from troubles. LIFT me from my sins, my selfishness,
Your words says you are close when we are brokenhearted LOVE me
Your word says you rescue us when are spirits are crushed. Bring back LAUGHTER
Your word says you redeem us when we serve you. Make this my greatest LONGING today.
From Tim Keller’s book: Songs of Jesus
HOW GOD KEEPS US SAFE. Verses 17 and 19 seem to promise believers exemption from troubles, but other psalms say God is with us in our troubles (Psalms 23:4 and 91:15). Indeed, verse 18 says we can be broken and crushed by life. But these sufferings bring God’s presence near in a way nothing else can (verse 18). Afterward, sufferers come to realize that they could not have received their deeper joy in God any other way. Verse 22 says the Lord “will rescue his servants.” Only the New Testament reveals what this promise cost God. On the cross Jesus secured “condemnation” (Romans 8:1) for those who take refuge in him—to a degree David could not have imagined.
Prayer: Lord, it is not exactly right to thank you for my sorrows, for you did not create a world filled with evil, and my grief causes you grief. And yet I do thank you for the many riches I have found in these dark mines: patience, courage, self-understanding, and most of all your love and presence. Amen.