Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Psalms
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
How can you pick a ‘favorite’ verse out of the entire Book(s) of Psalms! Well, I narrowed it down to probably the one verse that I have shared with more people in more situations than any other verse in Psalms. As a pastor I often find myself in the sad situation of needing to comfort or encourage someone who is going through a tough time, and for the believer, this one verse is not only true, but it is a beautiful reminder of God’s love, mercy, and grace upon those who are His own.
Usually when we are at our lowest we also will believe the lie that we are alone; and I guess in many situations we are physically alone; and because of familial dysfunction, we may be emotionally alone as well. But this one verse promises the child of the King that during our lowest, toughest, saddest times, that is when the Lord is actually closest to us. I know that with Christ living within the heart of the believer, and with the Lord being omnipresent you might think that He can’t be any closer than He already is, but that’s not exactly what I believe this verse is saying.
Yes, the Lord is always with us – He is always near, but because we worship a Triune God…
1) …who understands us (O LORD, You have searched me and known me. Psalm 139:1)
2) …who knows and empathizes with our pain (We despised him and rejected him – a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. Isaiah 53:3)
3) …who has been tempted just as we have (For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin. Hebrews 4:15)
4) …who is not harsh, but compassionate (The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. Psalm 116:5)
5) …who actually delights to be in our presence (Then I – the Lord – was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence. Proverbs 8:30)
6) …and who is sitting at our bedside when we awake in the morning and is ALWAYS thinking about us! (How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:17-18)
….then when you are brokenhearted – when you feel crushed in spirit, please don’t ever doubt that, if you are a child of Christ, then the Lord is right there, holding your hand, hugging you as your Father, wiping away your tear, and whispering to you “We will get through this. I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5); I will cause you to shine forth like the stars (Matthew 13:43); I will be your Advocate (1 John 2:1); and although you are hurting and your pain is real, together we will become more like Jesus through this.”
And this is why you and I need to be Christ extended to those who are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. We aren’t their Savior; we aren’t their comfort; but the Lord can and will use us to bind up the wounds (Psalm 147:3) of those in need of love, God’s grace, and His redemption. And the Lord will be glorifed.