Leading groups of teenagers to different parts of the world for mission’s trips has granted me the opportunity to experience a lot of different foods. In our preparation for having foods that we may not be accustomed to eating, our goal is to train our teams to be ready to eat anything with a joyful heart.
One of the ways we have done this is by heading to the grocery store, buying the most random items off the shelf, and feeding it to them. From spicy sardines to blue cheese stuffed olives and other random surprises, I have eaten and observed our teams eat these new delicacies.
The hope is that we will then be prepared to eat whatever may be placed in front of us with joy and gratitude. On our last series of trips, we went in fully prepared to eat whatever we were served and we got a pleasant surprise – the food was quite delicious!
To hear the phrase, “This is really good,” repeated often from the team is refreshing indeed. Another worry conquered, I think. The food here is good. We will eat well this trip. I tasted the food, and I have seen that it is delicious.
Unlike the delicious taste of new foods, this last season of life has left all kinds of different unpleasant tastes in our mouths. Whether it be a global pandemic, a tumultuous political climate, or some other personal struggle, we find our hearts searching for something good to cling to. Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
Today, I want to remind you that the Lord is good! Let’s look at a few of the results of God’s goodness that is seen in Psalm 34.
1. Because of God’s goodness, I will praise His name continually!
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together” (Psalm 34:1–3, NASB95).
Let me encourage your life to be so enthralled at the goodness of God that you cannot help but always sing His praises in your life. If we stop focusing on God’s faithfulness, the struggles of this life seem overwhelming. When you feel overwhelmed, ponder this question: how is God worthy of praise in your life, even in the hard times?
2. I will call to God in my trouble, and He will hear me!
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will 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 rescues them” (Psalm 34:4–7, NASB95).
“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” (Psalm 34:17–18, NASB95).
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19, NASB95).
Have you called to God about the struggles that you find yourself facing? Do you see the way that He is working amid these struggles to draw you closer to Himself? Do you remember the rescue He has offered during all the experiences in your life?
3. I will testify of the goodness of God all my days!
“Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Psalm 34:11, NASB95).
In the way you are handling the difficulties of life, are you choosing to point others to the goodness of God? Are you showing others that following God is superior to any other method of trying to face difficulty?
O taste and see that the Lord is good!