I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:1-10 NIV)
Let the afflicted hear and rejoice that there is a place of salvation and comfort! There is a strong tower of refuge into which the oppressed can hide. There is an oasis in the desert that the weary traveler can find rest. There are arms outstretched that the burdened can find a comforting embrace. That tower, that place, that oasis and those arms are the arms of Jehovah, the Lord God.
Take the example of David. Learn from what ‘the man after God’s own heart’ found. Through most of his hard times and trials of his faith, he never wavered. He knew his redeemer was the Lord. He knew that salvation was in God alone. When troubles hit he turned to his Creator.
Think back, however, and remember that David didn’t always have his heart set on the Almighty. No, when things were all rosy for him, being the king of Israel and honored and revered by all, he forgot his need to rely on God. In a moment of the selfishness of his sinful nature he committed a great sin. And afterward he committed other sins trying to cover up the other. No, there was nothing special about David. He was just a man. He was a lowly human just like us. He wanted to please God, but at times he made some wrong choices and sinned. Still, he learned from his mistakes and didn’t repeat them. After repenting of his great sins and pleading with God to give him a clean heart and a right spirit before Him, David could later write the above passage.
God’s grace and forgiveness will do that for us…it will renew us and make us right with Him. And when we are renewed and our relationship with God is in good standing, we too will find that we can extol the Lord at all times, in the good times and in the bad. We can and will boast in the Lord that He is great and has offered us His tender compassion. We can shout out our thankfulness so loudly that other afflicted ones might hear and be drawn to our Savior. We can take refuge in Him and be blessed by doing so, for we will lack nothing, have no fears and will live in a peace that transcends understanding.
So, come and glorify the Lord with me! Let us exalt His name together! Let the others around us see us living out our thankfulness to God while we pray that they will be delivered from their burdens by His tender mercies. And when they are delivered, let’s all praise God together!