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Reflections on Psalm 34

I will extol the lord at all times; good, bad or indifferent, His praise will always be on my lips. No matter what is happening around me or to me, God is with me. He is my strength, my ever-present help.

So I glory in the Lord: in who He is, in His love and care for me, in His presence with me. Let all who are afflicted in any way hear and understand what I’m saying. Rejoice, because You can know Him too!

Glorify the Lord with me. Let’s celebrate Him together!

I got to this place of assurance by seeking God; really looking for Him with a desire to live as He wants me to. I poured out my heart to Him, and He answered me. He filled me with His Spirit and left no room for my fears. My whole being was alive, pulsating with the light of His presence. It positively radiated from me, burning away any vestiges of worry or shame.

I was in bad shape when I called out to Him, but He heard me and saved me from all my troubled thoughts. It was as if He set up camp all around me. I knew I was protected because He wouldn’t leave me no matter how fierce the battle might become.

Can’t you see, can’t you almost taste how good God is? Take in His Word, savor and digest it. It will nourish you and give you great strength. Open your eyes and see who God is and who you are in His sight. Clear your eyes of all the debris the world has stirred up, so you can focus on the blessing it is to be safe in His arms.

Don’t fear man; fear the Lord. Give God the awe and respect that He alone deserves. When you do that, you’ll have everything you need to do His will now, and to be with Him forever. Remember, even the strongest can get weak, even the most powerful and affluent can be brought to the brink of starvation. But you will get stronger and more and more fulfilled as you keep seeking God and His will.

Come then, like eager children, and learn how to relate to God. If you want to make the most of your life, don’t let harmful words pass your lips. Don’t gossip, spread slander, entice others to do wrong, curse or lie. Make up your mind to have nothing to do with evil. Do what is good in God’s sight, not man’s. Seek to be at peace with everyone, even if you have to chase after them to do it.

God’s eyes are on those in right relationship with Him, and His ears are attuned to their needs. But He turns away from people whose intentions and actions are bent on harm. They’ll be blotted out like the stain they are.

When His children cry out, God hears them and brings their troubled hearts into the peace and assurance of His presence. He holds the broken-hearted close to His own heart, and gives new hope and strength to all whose spirits have been crushed.

The righteous person may have many troubles in this fallen world, but the Lord delivers them from the chasm of helplessness, the pit of the hopeless. He protects their ability to stand firm in their faith and to keep hold of His hand. They will suffer no condemnation from Him. In the end, they will know the ultimate deliverance from the shadows here to the incredible radiance of life with the Son.

But evil will recoil on its own proponents, condemning them for all time.