“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
Life is hard. The reality is that no one’s life is immune to conflict, struggle, heartache, or disappointment.
In an attempt to flee from King Saul, David chose to run from one enemy into the land of another in Philistia. At this point he runs into Achish the king of Gath (1 Sam. 21:10-15) where he pretends to be crazy in order to save himself from the Philistines taking revenge on him.
Context is important here because when you put yourself into David’s shoes, you start to understand the gravity of the situation from where this Psalm was written from. Those he honors from his own people want him dead, and those who rule the land he escapes to want him dead. He has nowhere to run, and in addition to the other things going on in his life outside of constantly fleeing, he is truly brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. Talk about life being hard!
His encouragement is that for those of us who walk with the Lord, we are not alone, despite our circumstances. The Lord is close- His eyes are on His people and His ears are attentive to our prayers and cries for help. In His way and in His time, He will deliver us from our troubles as we surrender them to Him. And we can trust that whether He chooses to deliver us immediately or over time is in His sovereign plan.
If you feel defeated, down-and-out, or crushed by the weight of life, then like David, turn to the Lord! He can give you the strength and peace needed to persevere in the midst of your trial, which can only come by the power of His Holy Spirit. And have hope, for although this current life may bring pain and suffering at times, we can rejoice for He ultimately works all things together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose! (Rom. 8:28)
The Psalmist ends by saying, “The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemened.” Jesus has come that we can live a redeemed life free from the condemnation of sin in a fallen world. Take heart, for He is our ultimate reward!
Yes, life is hard, but the Lord is close. Fix your eyes on Christ through your brokeness, knowing that He is faithful and mighty to save!