When Life Is Hard

David took these words to heart and was very much afraid. 1 Samuel 21:12a NIV

David was the “apple of God’s eye,” a “man after God’s own heart,” yet life was not easy for David. He lived through some really difficult times. I’m grateful that we have his life story, because it teaches us that believers are not immune from painful circumstances. Life can be hard, very hard! Like David, we weep, we hurt, and sometimes we are “very much afraid.” Such was a time in David’s life, when he penned Psalm 34. Let’s look at his words today and learn from his insight and perspective.

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:1-3 NIV

Even though David was living  through some very difficult and scary circumstances, he never stopped praising God! He never allowed the heartache to make him lose sight of God’s blessings in his life. All of us, if we are being honest, can count numerous blessings even in the toughest times.

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. Psalm 34:4-6 NIV

When life is hard, there is only one place to turn. Seek God and call out to Him for help!  He is listening and He will answer you!

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them. Psalm 34:7 NIV

Do you fear God? If so, His mighty warriors are surrounding you! They’re not just checking in once and a while to make sure you’re okay; they have set up camp! God has sent them to watch over you, to step between you and the enemy and deliver you! Picture that! Keep that image in the forefront of your mind when life is a struggle!

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8 NIV

Sometimes we just need to slow down and “taste,” the goodness of the Lord!

Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:9-18 NIV

One of the benefits of suffering is this, it draws us closer to the Lord. Circumstances in life may crush our spirits, but God is closest when we hurt the most!

The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34:19-22 NIV

We do the best we can when life is hard. Though we struggle for answers, we call upon the Lord, trust He is in control and let the pain draw us closer to Him. When it’s all said and done, we rejoice knowing that no one who takes refuge in God will be condemned by Him!

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