I love other cultures. I love the diversity of God’s creation. I have been blessed with experiencing other cultures firsthand, and it makes my soul happy! You can imagine how excited I was a couple of years ago when I discovered that Epcot, at Disney World, had a bunch of different countries that you could experience. By far, my favorite place to visit was Morocco. It is a country I have been to and to get to go there again, in a sense, was incredible. We got lost in the tall walls, found a Moroccan restaurant, and had one of my favorite meals. It was authentic and delicious. The night was almost too wonderful; I didn’t know what to do with myself! I was overwhelmed by this gift from God. It wasn’t just the delicious food, or the endless glasses of hot mint tea, or the sights and smells. It was everything together that combined into one wonderful experience.
Have you ever had an experience like that with God? We read about one in Psalm 34. This Psalm is David’s song of celebration after God delivers him from a dangerous situation. It is also a psalm instructing us how to live a life with God, and the blessings that result. As we continue our journey, taking a closer look at Psalm 34, we’re going to study the words of this madman that we know to be a very sane David, King of Israel.
Last week we talked about a madman’s deliverance and how God can deliver us from fear in the midst of difficult circumstances. Today we are going to look a little more at a madman’s fear, as well as God’s blessings. Psalm 34:8-10 (ESV) reads:
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints,
for those who fear Him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Verse nine talks about fearing the Lord. We touched on this some last week, but I want to remind us that fear of God is not the same as fear of man. To fear God is to have an understanding of His power and greatness, but it is also to stand in awe of Him and to revere Him as the Holy God that He is. David is reminding us that those who fear God – who stand in awe of Him, who worship Him, who adore Him – will lack nothing.
How can this be? How can we suffer greatly and yet “lack no good thing” when we seek the Lord? How can I still be sick when I am seeking the Lord? Sickness doesn’t seem like a very good thing to me!
The truth is God’s definition of “good” and our human definition is drastically different. God looks at human life from an eternal perspective. If there are things in this life that are going to grow us, change us, draw us closer to Him, and form us into His likeness, He is going to allow those things to happen – for our good.
I know this is a difficult idea to understand. Most days I can’t quite wrap my mind around it either. Yet it’s true. The suffering we experience today is nothing compared to the glory we will experience with God forever. So let me ask you, is your current suffering drawing you to God or away from Him? Are you becoming more like Christ as you share in His sufferings, or are you embracing everything this world offers to numb the pain?
I beg you, friends, allow the suffering you are experiencing to transform you. If you seek God, even the worst pain will be used for your good. Focus on the hope of future glory, and remember that the suffering will not last. When your time on this earth comes to an end, eternity awaits you. If you have a relationship with God, you will spend all of eternity with Him, and it will be glorious. If you don’t have a relationship with God, your eternity will be very different. You will suffer in ways that you can’t even imagine right now. What will you choose?
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
© November 20, 2014