The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:17-19

Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD, for He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me …. O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:19-21A, 23-24

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

One of the most reoccurring words in the Psalms is the word “troubles” and one the most reoccurring themes of the Psalms is God being with and helping His people in the midst of their troubles. I love the image of our lives being hidden with Christ in God. It is not an image of escaping the struggle of our troubles but rather an image of being protected from the unnecessary negative impact of wrongly relating to the presence of troubles in our lives. Psalm 46 says that God is our refuge and strength in time of trouble and that therefore, we will not be afraid. Later, in the Psalm it says that we are to be still and know God as God. This is what it means to seek the things above and live in the reality that our lives our hidden with Christ in God. This is what it means to be sheltered in the secret place of his presence. More and more we can become ones who do not struggle with the fact that life regularly presents us with the challenge of struggles. However, it will also mean that more and more we are becoming ones who experience God as a refuge while we move through the struggles of life and the good things that come from them. May God grant us the grace to be this kind of person as we continue on in the pursuit of living fully for him. Truly this is the hope that he sets before us.

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, I really do feel hopeful. You are so thoroughly involved in my life. You being in me, filling me up with your Spirit, your peace, and your comfort. Me being in you, sheltering me, hiding me, protecting me, and strengthening me. Thank you for being my refuge from troubles and struggle. I love being in the secret place of your presence. Thank you for all you are doing to help me live fully for you. Amen!