Hoping in Hard Times

Psalm 34

David is writing this song shortly after he had come through a difficult time. David had been forced from his home because he was running for his life. A man who he once trusted, Saul, was now trying to end David’s life.

When many people think about the great characters featured in the Bible, they wrongly think that these people did not experience struggles and suffering. When you read the Psalm from David, it is clear that the opposite is true. He had been driven to the end of himself, and that is exactly where God met him.

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

When David hit the lowest point, he cried out to God:

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (4)

It is so encouraging to me to see that in David’s incredibly difficult time, God was right there to not only listen to his cry, but also deliver David from his fear and save him from all of his troubles (verse 5).

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (8)

David was able to tangibly experience the goodness of God. That is why he was inspired to say “taste and see.” God came down and met David in the mess where he was. The Lord carried David through the threats on his life, the lies of his enemies, and times of extreme neediness.

Later on in the Psalm, David makes it clear that all followers of God will find God in their lowest points. All they must do is call out to the Lord.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry (15)… The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. (17)

God doesn’t promise His followers a life of ease and prosperity if they live righteously for Him. In fact, the opposite is true. The Bible speaks often about those who will try to follow Jesus and walk in His ways will actually experience many hardships in life. Suffering is a common thing in this world, because it is a broken place.

But… the followers of Jesus can hope in one thing: Jesus promises that He is greater than anything that can happen to us in life. He told his disciples towards the end of his life that:

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Jesus will be with us in our lowest moments. He experienced the worst that this world has to offer, and He overcame it. Because of that we can have, without a doubt, the same conviction David had in Psalm 34:

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. (17)

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