READ Psalm 34:1–10.
1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
BOASTING IN THE LORD.
How can we be delivered from all our fears (verse 4)? The answer is comprehensive. Build an identity that gets its significance (“glory”)—makes its “boast” (Jeremiah 9:23–24)—not from your accomplishments or racial identity or talent or moral efforts or family but from God (verse 2). Then and only then is the foundation of your self-worth secure and not subject to fears or shame (verse 5). How can we get such an identity? By not just believing in God but “tasting” and experiencing God’s goodness in prayer (verse 8). And by comforting afflicted people with the comfort we have received (verse 2; 2 Corinthians 1:3–4) until they can glorify God with us (verse 3). This is the mission of every believer.
Lord, my anxieties, shame, and discouragement come when I try to make my boast in other things than your goodness and unfailing love toward me. Teach me how to look to you and seek you until I know the radiance of your joy. Amen