The Ministry to Seafarers (M2S)

Psalm 34 Journal Starter

Hi friends! Thank you so much for joining us here.

We hope to provide you with some questions to spark reflection on the Psalms.

If you want to, you can share some of your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear how God is working in your heart.

You can listen to Psalm 34 here. You can find Psalm 34 in the New International Version here.

Journal Starter for Psalm 34

In the very beginining of this Psalm, David says he will extol (enthusiastically praise) the LORD at all times.
Write about a time when it was easy for you to praise God. Write about a time when it was hard. 
In verses 2-3, David invites the afflicted (those in pain, suffering or trouble) to worship God with him.
Imagine David asking you to worship with him during a time of struggle in your life. How do you feel about the invitation to worship God?
Why would you want to join David in worship? Why might it be hard?
David wrote, "I sought the LORD, and he/ answered me;/ he delivered me from all my/ fears. / Those who look to him are/ radiant;/ their faces are never covered/ with shame" (verses 4-5). 
Write down your fears. Write down anything you are ashamed of.
God sees all your fear and all your shame. He loves you and wants you to draw near to Him. His perfect love drives out fear.
Imagine all of your fears being swept away. How would you live differently?
Sometimes we are ashamed about past or present sin or weakness. Other times we feel ashamed because of lies we believe about ourselves. 

The blood of Jesus covers ALL our sins and His truth about who we are is more powerful than any lies!
 God wants your shame to be replaced by a deep knowledge of His love for you. If you are currently engaging in something you know is wrong, confess your sin to God and ask Him to help you walk in His love and light. If you are believing a lie, write it down. Then, write down what GOD says about you and ask Him to help you believe it.  

What would it look like for you to allow God's love into the things that make you feel ashamed? What do you think Jesus would say to you about the things that make you feel ashamed?
David writes a lot about God protecting and delivering the righteous. However, we know that those who follow God suffer. This is partially because we still struggle with sin and partly because we live in a fallen world. In the New Testament, Jesus says that His followers WILL suffer. However, in both this psalm (verse 18) and the New Testament we learn that God is near to those who are brokenhearted and suffering.
How has God protected you and delivered you in the middle of your suffering?

If you are brokenhearted right now, write to God about it.

Have you ever felt God's nearness in your suffering? What was that like? Thank God for the difference His presence makes.
In this psalm, David writes about fearing God and choosing good instead of evil. He writes, "Turn from evil and do good;/ seek peace and pursue it" (verse 14).
Is there any evil you are turned toward at the moment?
Write down what it would look like for you to turn away from that evil and toward good.

What do you think it would look like to seek peace and pursue it?
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