READ Psalm 34:17–22.
17The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 A righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
HOW GOD KEEPS US SAFE.
Verses 17 and 19 seem to promise believers exemption from troubles, but other psalms say God is with us in our troubles (Psalms 23:4 and 91:15). Indeed, verse 18 says we can be broken and crushed by life. But these sufferings bring God’s presence near in a way nothing else can (verse 18). Afterward, sufferers come to realize that they could not have received their deeper joy in God any other way. Verse 22 says the Lord “will rescue his servants.” Only the New Testament reveals what this promise cost God. On the cross Jesus secured “no condemnation” (Romans 8:1) for those who take refuge in him—to a degree David could not have imagined.
Lord, it is not exactly right to thank you for my sorrows, for you did not create a world filled with evil, and my grief causes you grief. And yet I do thank you for the many riches I have found in these dark mines: patience, courage, self-understanding, and most of all your love and presence. Amen.