I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are discouraged take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. – Psalm 34:1-3


David tells us three things we must do to emerge victorious from troubles. First, he tells us to praise the Lord (Psalm 34:1). When we bless the Lord for all His benefits, boast in the Lord concerning His attributes, and exalt Him for His goodness, we are focusing on Him instead of our troubles. How easy it is, though, to let trouble take over our thinking to the point that we forget how great God is!

Second, David tells us to seek the Lord (v. 4 KJV). To seek means “to inquire diligently,” or “to reach a place of desperation.” David knew this kind of desperate crying out to God and the results it brought: “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (v. 6 KJV). Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, Moses stretched out his rod, Peter put on his sandals . . . and God delivered from sickness, danger, and imprisonment!

Finally, David said to reverence the Lord (v. 9). We must examine every area of our lives to be certain our giving, our words, and our relationships are in order. In this way, we honor God.

When we praise the Lord, seek the Lord, and reverence the Lord, we will be delivered from all our troubles!


Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! – Nehemiah 8:10

A sad Christian is no witness for God. Ezra read the Book of the Law to the Jewish remnant, and when they heard God’s words, “all the people chanted, ‘Amen! Amen!’ as they lifted their hands toward heaven. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (Nehemiah 8:6).

Why should church services and times of preaching be times of sadness and boredom? When the people wept after hearing God’s words, Nehemiah told them, “Go and celebrate with a feast of choice foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared” (v. 10). The Israelites obeyed and celebrated “with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them”

(v. 12)

Later that month, in celebrating a major festival that had been unobserved for many years, the people lived in booths for seven days, and “everyone was filled with great joy” (v. 17). Another observance followed, and this time for six hours at a time the Levites led in worship, saying, “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, for he lives from everlasting to everlasting!” Then they continued, “Praise his glorious name! It is far greater than we can think or say” (9:5).

Why should Christians ever lose their joy? Someone has said that if the devil can’t steal your joy, he can’t spoil your goods. Even in your most difficult moments, look to eternity, where you will forever rejoice, world without end. Take a drink today from the joy of heaven, for it is your strength!

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