TRUTH FOR TIMES OF TROUBLE: Psalm 34

aA psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.

1I will praise the LORD at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
2I will boast only in the LORD;
let all who are helpless take heart.
3Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.
4I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
5Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
7For the angel of the LORD is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
8Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9Fear the LORD, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
10Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.
11Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the LORD.
12Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
13Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
14Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
15The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
16But the LORD turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.
17The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
18The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
19The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.
20For the LORD protects the bones of the righteous;
not one of them is broken!
21Calamity will surely overtake the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22But the LORD will redeem those who serve him.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

WHEN IT COMES TO TROUBLED TIMES ….

1. WHAT WE ARE NOT PROMISED …. Exemption

Some people believe that when we come to faith God then exempts us from hard times.

Not what David experienced and not what Scripture promises

Just look how David describes his experience and the experience of God’s people

v2 ” helpless” v4 “fearful” v 6 “people experiencing desperation and troubles” v18 “people who feel brokenhearted and crushed”

How could followers of a crucified God believe they would experience a trouble free existence?

Jesus was quite blunt and up front ….”in this world YOU WILL HAVE trouble” john 16:33

Got to have realistic expectations

2. WHAT WE ARE PROMISED

“18The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

In troubled times we are promised ….
a) GOD’S PRESENCE. ” The LORD is close to the brokenhearted”
b) GOD’S POWER. “he rescues those whose spirits are crushed”

SO HOW DO WE CONNECT WITH GOD’S PRESENCE AND POWER IN TROUBLED TIMES ?

i) WORSHIP OF GOD …. “1I will praise the LORD at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
2I will boast only in the LORD;
let all who are helpless take heart.”

“In worship, God imparts himself to us.” ~ C.S.Lewis
“I did not see that it is the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men ~ C.S. Lewis

In worship we are reminded of who God is and what he has promised to do and has done for us in the past and what he is doing for others right now. Testimony is important in worship it reminds us God is living, active and involved in lives like ours

ii) PRAYER TO GOD. …. “4I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
5Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.”

“We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth.” ~ Andrew Murray

iii) REVERENCE FOR GOD …. “11Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the LORD.
12Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
13Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
14Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
I haven’t preached for a very long time, but I will be this Sunday. Spent this afternoon creating this outline from Psalm 34 and now want to craft and hone it a bit

SO
what do you think? Does it express what the Scripture is saying?

This Psalm is a testimony, do you have personal experience of how God has helped you in troubled times that I could share with people ? If you don’t what your name to used send me it in PM and I’ll use it anonymously

Is there anything missing you think needs to be said?

15The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.”

: “We are either in the process of resisting God’s truth or in the process of being shaped and molded by his truth.” ~ Charles Stanley

To connect to God’s presence and power we need the right attitude to God, reverence. It’s simple, sin effectively disconnects us from god and obedience reconnects us to GOD’S presence and power

iv) CONNECTION TO GOD’S PEOPLE ….. ” 3Come, LET US tell of the LORD’s greatness; LET US exalt his name together.”.

We can’t make it through troubled times alone, we need GOD’S people to help us worship and to pray for us when it’s too hard to pray for ourselves. GOD’S main way of helping us in troubled times is to work through the presence, words and actions of his people. When we cut ourselves off from God’s people we are cutting ourselves off from god as well.

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