Psalm 34:8 - Taste Jesus and Experience Fullness of Joy. [addendum]
Psalm 34:8 - Taste Jesus and Experience Fullness of Joy.
Psalm 34:8 (NKJV) Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Psalm 34:8 (NLT) Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the
joys of those who trust in him!
Ben Patterson was dusting his furniture, moving to music he
had playing. He started revving it up, dancing more and more
vigorously and flamboyantly. Gradually, he became aware of his
four-year-old son watching--and beaming with delight. Patterson invited his son
to join in, and they danced. They leaped over chairs, ran across
the coffee table, jumped on the sofa, shouted, and giggled.
Ben writes, "I wish you could have seen the look of unabashed
pleasure and joy on my son's face as he danced. Any exploration of joy is
incomplete if we do not understand that at its deepest, joy is delight for
God and with God--not unlike my dance with my son."
Psalm 37:4 tells us that when we delight ourselves in the
Lord, he will give us the desires of our hearts. An obvious cycle of
cause and effect leaps out from that verse. If we're delighted in the
Lord, we'll be delighted with what delights him. Naturally, if we're
delighted in what brings joy to the Lord, he gives us the desires of our
hearts because they're in harmony with his desires and plans.
What delights God and gives him joy? Psalm 104:31 exclaims,
"May the glory of the Lord continue forever! The LORD takes pleasure
in all he has made!" (NLT). Throughout the Psalms we see how God
delights in his creation.
At Jesus' baptism, the Father said he was delighted in his
Son. God so loved the world--and you and me--that he sent his Son into
the world that we might be redeemed--and so he could rejoice in our
When we find our delight in God, we share in his delights.
And, incredibly, he delights in us, the same as Ben Patterson did in
his son, and his son in him, and the joy of the dance.
Lord, I take refuge in you. Draw me into your delights! Give
me a heart that genuinely rejoices in what brings joy to you
instead of what lures me to the shortcuts and "pleasures for a season."
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those
who take refitge in him! Psalm 34:8, NLT [The One Year Book of
Encouragement by Harold Myra]
John Henry Jowett warns that, no matter how well we scheme,
we can't find a hiding place to sin in secret. He quotes the
psalmist, "You understand my thought afar off" (Psalm 139:2, NKJV). That,
Jowett says, fills him with awe. God knows not only what we do but also
what we're thinking.
That can be very good or very sobering. Jowett starts with
this disconcerting fact: "I cannot wrap my jealousy up in flattery
and keep it unknown. He knows the bottom thought that creeps in the
basement of my being. Nothing surprises God. He sees all my sin."
One of the scariest Judgment Day scenarios is being forced to
watch--projected on the big screen for all to see--everything God has been seeing
in our thoughts and imaginations. Our duplicities, our lusts, our
desires for revenge, and our self-centered focus--all would be revealed
in vivid detail.
Fortunately, we are promised that, in Christ, all our sins
are cast into the depths and will be remembered no more. Scratch the
wide-screen scenario! What a relief!
Jowett says the fact that God knows our thoughts should fill
us not only with awe but also with hope. "He sees the faintest,
weakest desire aspiring after goodness. He sees the smallest fire of
affection burning uncertainly in my soul. He sees every movement of
penitence that looks toward home. He sees every little triumph."
He also assures us, "My God is not like a policeman, only
looking for crimes; He is the God of grace, looking for graces,
searching for jewels to adorn His crown. So am I filled with hope and
Heavenly Father, thank you that I can come in confidence and
celebrate you as the God of grace. Help me not to be lulled by that
assurance into drifting from you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I
might honor you.
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those
who take refuge in him! Psalm 34:8 NLT [The One Year Book of
Encouragement by Harold Myra]
George Macdonald prayed with passionate faith, even when he
experienced doubts and distress. His prayers were full of vivid imagery.
Read the following prayer slowly to get the picture:
Doubt swells and surges.
My soul in storm is but a tattered sail,
Streaming its ribbons on the gale.
In calm, 'tis but a limp and flapping thing:
Oh, swell it with thy breath; make it a wing.
MacDonald prayed that his soul would be a wing sweeping
through ocean and wind, finding its haven in God. But this would happen
only if God would perform it in him.
Our minds may not turn to poetic imagery when we're swamped
by troubles and doubt, but we've likely prayed with similar
feelings. Doubt surges when storms destroy what we hoped would be answers
to fervent prayers. Where is God when we're on the edge and about
to go under? Doesn't he care?
Those are the kinds of questions and prayers we find in the
Psalms: raw pain and accusations that God isn't doing his part. Yet the
psalmists prayed anyway--and so did MacDonald. When "doubt, pain, anger and
strife" made him feel he just couldn't pray no matter how he tried, he
kept at it.
He described his fledgling prayer as a little bird barely out
of the nest, "crouching, falling, flitting, flying, perching."
Ever feel your prayers are like that? When they can't seem to
get airborne, pray anyway--and wait for God's wind under your wings.
Father, sometimes I'm lifted in prayer and sense your
presence. Other times I'm like that tattered sail MacDonald describes,
flapping limply in the wind. Lift me by the mighty winds of your Spirit.
In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved
me from all my troubles.... Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh,
the joys of those who take refuge in him! Psalm 34:6, 8 NLT [The One
Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra]
If you were to make a wish list, what would you include?
Would you write down what you truly have a great need for, or just
what you crave? Life, after all, isn't fair, and few people have
enough money for all that they want.
Psalm 34 deals with needs and the wonderful way that God
provides for them. Do you need something? Follow David's advice--his
observation from his own experience is a truth more durable than any earthly
There are many other things to praise God for in this group
of psalms as well, such as the protection he gives us from death
(Psalm 33) and unjust enemies (Psalm 35), and for his great goodness
Read Psalms 33-36.
David said that "those who trust in the Lord will lack no
good thing" (Psalm 34:10). Can this be true? How can it be that God's
people lack nothing good?
God knows what we truly need. Even though many Christians
live in poverty and endure hardship, God gives them the spiritual
nourishment they need in order to live for him. This is what David is saying
here--if we have a relationship with God, we have all we need, despite
If you feel you don't have everything you need, ask yourself
several questions: (1) Is this really a need? (2) Is this really good
for me? (3) Is this the best time for me to have what I want? Even
if you answer yes to all three questions, remember that God's
thoughts are completely different from yours (see Isaiah 55:8). He may
want you to learn that you need him more than you think. [The One
Year Through the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re Psalm 34:1-10]
Twice in these short verses we see the word joy being
connected with the act of trusting. This joy indwells and encompasses
God's people and leads them to say, "Oh, the joys... !" even in the
midst of suffering, frustration, or trouble.
Perhaps, like me, you've met people who seem to have a
special radiance about them in their words, in their actions, or simply
in their very presence. We walk away from them not only with
curiosity about how they live in such luminous joy but also with a desire
to know and experience that joy for ourselves. So, how can we
radiate this kind of joy in the Lord? By looking for evidences of God's
hand at work throughout the day, by seeking to know more of him, and
by meditating on the wonder of his works instead of on the hassles
and trials of this life. Once our perspective has shifted, we begin
to wait expectantly for him to show himself as trustworthy. We will
find our fulfillment in him and be filled with joy.
Dear LORD, help me to look to you and to trust in you today.
There is great joy to he found in living with my eyes fixed on you.
Help me to do that so that my life will be radiant with your joy. May
others be drawn to you because of the joy you have put in my heart. Oh,
the joys of trusting in Jesus! [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller
re vs. 5, 8]
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
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Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
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