“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalms 34:1)
That’s a tough one today, the day I am writing this. I do not feel well and on those days it is hard to find anything a blessing. But that puts me in good company with Job, whose story we just finished yesterday. And, I remember, Job was not initially able to praise or bless anything when he was in the grips of his suffering.
I am surrounded by family and friends who support me. That is a blessing. And I do know I can call on the Lord in the midst of my suffering, and I know I will be heard. That is a blessing too.
“My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Verses 3 & 4)
It is in the midst of our suffering that we can know the sweetest joy and relief in the Lord. And I know that if I can set aside the messages my body is sending me, my spirit can connect with the Lord’s Spirit and I can feel the joy and relief spread through me which makes the discomfort and pain bearable.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble.” (Verses 5 & 6)
Can you believe this with me, beloved reader? That in the midst of pain and suffering you can find relief in the Lord? It is hard, I know. It took time and years of experience to be able to do this spiritual discipline. It also takes faith and belief in something that can be beyond our understanding and sight.
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.” (Verses 7 & 8)
There are many saints and Christian “heroes” who struggled to have this type of faith and belief. So if you desire this, but struggle with it you are in good company.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.
He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.
Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.” (Verses 19-22)
The Lord may not prevent or stop trouble, discomfort, pain and suffering. And it is hard to understand why the Lord does not. But we do not have to endure it alone. The psalmist says the Lord “keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.” And if we anticipate this in a literal sense, we may be disappointed. But with the Lord’s presence the important parts of our being, our spirit and soul, will not be broken. Indeed, they will be become stronger from the endurance and blessing of the Lord.
My health deteriorates as each months and years pass. But my spirit and soul has become stronger. May your spirit and soul be strengthened through the Lord as you go through all that is in your life, beloved reader. Selah!