“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.”
Lord, please speak to me as this verse has stuck out to me. Show me what you desire me to learn and take away.
The first four words of these two verses say, “The righteous cry out.” David does not write that everyone cries out and the Lord hears them. David says the righteous. And what else does he do for the righteous? David writes “he (God) delivers them from all their troubles.” I know I am not righteous, nor will I claim to be. As Paul says, I don’t do what I want to do and what I do I hate. God knows I am a sinful human being. I could go on and on about how I grieve the Lord every day, but I want the devil to take no victory from this writing. The battle rages, but the war is won! Jesus has already did it. He knows my heart. Do I fail to commune with him daily? Yes but he knows I desire to. Do I fail to take captive all my thoughts and give them to him? Yes but he accepts my apology and takes the ones I do give him. Do I say things and act in a way that displeases the Lord everyday? Yes but his blood washes all of that away. Praise you Jesus for the victory I have in you. “In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; Let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.” Psalm 31:1 says. Your righteousness, not mine. Because of Jesus death on the cross, as Romans 8:3-4 says, the righteousness requirement of the law has been met in me. Praise you Jesus you came, humbled yourself in the greatest of extents to show your love for me and to fulfill the law so that I don’t have to live a perfect life to get to heaven. Thank you Jesus that your righteousness has been imparted to me. Thank you Jesus that I am seen as righteous in Gods eyes because he doesn’t see me, but he sees you. So yes, I am righteous, but it is not me it is Jesus in me. So the Lord hears my cries; he does deliver me from all my troubles. I can attest to this first verse being completely accurate. Praise you Jesus for when you lead me to a valley of dry bones, you never fail to lead me through and out the other side having taught me countless things.
This concept from verse 17 flows right in and through verse 18. It says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” It doesn’t just say, the Lord hears the cries of the righteous and delivers them right away. Many times it’s a slow process of patience, perseverance, and learning. Often times its painful. When I cry out to the Lord I want him to rescue me from whatever I am going through right away, as soon as possible. But often times, like Daniel in the lion’s den, the Lord doesn’t necessarily deliver me out of the hardship, but he delivers me in the hardship. My heart breaks in those times rendering many times the unwarranted question why. My spirit takes on the weight of a thousand anvils. It crushed beneath the immense pressure. But as verse 18 of Psalm 34 says, the Lord is close to me as my heart is broken and my spirit is crushed. As he promises many times in his word, he will never leave me nor forsake me. He cares for me and will not let me go through those periods of my life alone. He takes my hand, and when necessary drags me through as I do everything I can to not let go of his hand. If I am honest, most of the time the Lord has to pick me up on his shoulders and carry me. As much as I want to credit myself with even the smallest amount of glory, it’s just not the reality of it. The Lord’s saving help, his salvation, is my shield. His help, as Psalm 18:35 says, has made me great. Not my own. It is the Lord who fights for me. He is the warrior I strive to be. He went up directly against the enemy as a human here on earth, and won. You know what his greatest weapon was? The Word of God. Nothing is stronger. It is “sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart,” as Hebrews 4:12 says. Recently my prayer has been asking the Lord to help me be more knowledgeable in the scriptures. I want to have every arrow in my quiver to be able to fire back at the enemy as he sets his aim on my heart, mind, and soul. It’s not going to happen enemy. I am the Lords and no being or entity can change that.
Thank you Lord, for reminding me that you are close to me when my heart is broken and you are close when my spirit is crushed. When I need you most, you are never far away. Your hand is always outstretched waiting for me to saddle the back of your horse to ride in battle, together.
Application: This verse was a beautiful reminder that I am not righteous, but because Jesus’ righteousness was imparted to me, the Lord hears my cries and he delivers me from all my troubles. Jesus is the reason, nothing I have done. Also as the Lord is delivering me from my troubles sometimes it is not instant so to realize that during those times of downcast heart and spirit, the Lord has never been closer waiting to pick me up and carry me along. Praise you Lord.
How: Today I will take time to praise the Lord specifically for how he has never left me and is near to me when I need him most, all the while being reminded that it is in fact not because of me or anything I have done, but it is because of Jesus’s righteousness that I can even have a relationship in the first place with the God and creator of the universe.
Thank you Jesus, may I always follow you closely behind into the battles of everyday. Praise you that though the battle rages everyday, You have already won the war.