Read Psalm 34
I love Psalm 34! If you read it, you probably do too! It resonates with our lives and experiences, doesn’t it? In fact, scattered throughout the 22 verses of this alphabetic acrostic psalm are words like “fears,” “troubles,” “brokenhearted,” and “crushed in spirit” . . . words that describe some of our experiences and emotions.
Life is peppered with those kinds of realities. These are the things that mark the low points of life. And, for most of us, elements of these realities play in the background even during the mountain-top experiences.
But it isn’t merely the presence of problems and pain in this psalm that causes it to resonate with us. It is also the response to the problems and pain that parallels our own.
Who hasn’t “sought” the Lord in time of fear (v. 4)? In time of trouble, we too have “called” out to Him (v. 6). His children naturally “cry out” to Him (v. 17). In fact, at any point in time, each of us has those situations that create anxiety within us. Hopefully, it is your natural response . . . not your last resort . . . to bring those things to the Lord.
Still, the real appeal of these words extends beyond the fact that we can read our own experiences and our responses into the lines. The real appeal comes from the hope that the psalm offers.
The Lord is One who “hears” (vv. 6, 17) our cries. His “hearing” is not merely the cognitive awareness that we have expressed a fear. Thankfully He “hears” in the sense that He is “attentive to” (v. 15) and “answers” (v. 4). He “saves”(vv. 6, 18) people out of trouble! He “delivers” (vv. 4, 7, 17, 19) people from all their fears! He is “close to” (v. 18), “protects” (v. 20), and “redeems” (v. 22). It is that awesome reminder of God’s faithful care that causes many to embrace this psalm as one of their favorites!
It was that reality that caused David to choose to extol, praise, and boast in the Lord (vv. 1, 2)! And the blessing of a God who delivers caused David to invite others to join in and “Glorify the Lord with (him); let us exalt His name together” (v. 3).
As we express our problems to the Lord, we can be thankful in knowing that we have the ear of the One who is not only concerned but is also able to do something about them!