“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
"I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
"The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
~ Psalm 34, vs 1-8 ~
This Psalm was written by King David after he had a victory over his enemy. Now, this victory did not come easy. It came on the heels of much fleeing, hiding and defending. But David prayed, and in due time, God gave him the victory.
When we are in the midst of our battles, however, it can become very difficult to do what these verses speak...praising God when we are fighting and suffering is not easy. Boasting in our God is hard when He does not appear immediately to answer our prayers and deliver us. Believe me, I know.
But I think the point here is not in how long God allows us to suffer in life's trials and tribulations...but that He does always deliver us and that He will use everything, especially our hard times, to shape us into His image and refine us of our impurities.
I believe the key here is vs 4: "I sought the Lord, and He delivered me from my fears."
He desires that we continuously seek Him - Not to seek and then give up. But as a continuing action, especially when we are suffering. And deliverance? Many times you will find that the deliverance from the negative emotions – the fear of the suffering – will be the first to go, before the actual deliverance from the circumstance.
I am learning more and more that God's deliverance, most times, consists of Him giving us the courage to fight and to persevere through the battle and not lose faith…
Eph 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Truly, that is the birth of deliverance. God rarely simply says to us "sit here, while I fight your battles." Instead, what I read time and time again is God saying: "I will fight for you and I will deliver you! Now get up, take courage, be strong and fight!!" And after the battle is over, the people of God thank God, for they know it was He who gave them their courage, their heart and their strength for victory!
So, like David, I tell you: "Oh, Taste and see, that the Lord is Good!" His intention for us is never to harm us. Refining is painful, but it results in purity and beauty unsurpassed!
"Blessed is the person who takes refuge in Him." Do not lose heart! He has not left or forsaken you!
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