The Broken Psalm
Every one will deal with some sort of broken or fragmented relationship at some point in their life. In this world broken by sin, God calls us to love one another, to have fellowship with others, and to live a life that touches other lives. When we do this, we are inevitably going to get hurt.
At my church, it is kinda an unspoken thing, but Psalm 34 is basically "The Break Up Psalm". This was shared with me at a time in my life when I was dealing with a broken relationship, by some one who had had this Psalm shared with her during a similar time. Though it's "the break up Psalm" I find that it can easliy be applied to any relationship that has been broken. Most people go straight to verse 19, because it says "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." When going through a trying time, this verse is such a comfort. However, I think that the entire Psalm should be applied when we are dealing with these situations.
Starting with verses 1-3, the Psalmist says:
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
(Psalm 34:1-3 ESV)
So starting right out, we see that we should praise the Lord. Even if your heart is broken. Even if your best friend is not talking to you. Even if your family is not speaking to eachother. The Lord is worthy no matter what and we should praise Him continually.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
(Psalm 34:4-7 ESV)
These next verses exhort us to remember the times in the past that God has been faithful. How easily we forget! God has been faithful before and He will be faithful again. When our human problems cloud our minds it is vital that we remember who God is and what He has done for us.
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.
Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
(Psalm 34:8-12 ESV)
Again we are reminded of the praise worthiness (not sure if that's a word) of God. He loves you, you are His child and He cares for you. In light of that, you should fear Him and take refuge in Him.
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
(Psalm 34:13-14 ESV)
And now we come to the kicker. I know that this is something that I struggle with a lot. No matter what the other person has done, you need to make sure you keep your head. Glorify the Lord in the situation and keep yourself from saying things you will regret. Whoever hurt you was still made in God's image, and that should change how you treat them and talk about them. Again, this is something I greatly struggle with and am convicted everytime I read these verses!
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
(Psalm 34:15-17 ESV)
Another thing to remember, God is just even when things seem unfair. God will look out for you, and He knows what He is doing! He has the eternal big picture perspective while we are blinded by our own humanity.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
(Psalm 34:18-22 ESV)
Finally we get to the part that we would rather skip over the rest of the stuff for. God is near to you in your affliction. Again we are reminded of who we are, His children, and how much He cares for us. We need to take refuge in Him.
This is just something that I have had on my heart for quite sometime now. This life is just so broken and as life goes on there will be more harships and trials and broken things. However, there is no comdemnation for those in Christ and God is working everything together for the good of those who love Him. God is worthy of our continual praise, He is faithful and loves His children. In light of this we should fear Him and watch what we say too and about others. God is sovereign and He is perfectly just, and when things seem unfair and hurt us, He is there to comfort His children! Praise the Lord!