Psalm 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”
You can join on any day – and memorize the Psalm at your own pace.
Today we add verse 19.

Psalm 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

Consider this: David fought many battles. The most famous battle was when, as a shepherd boy, he defeated Goliath, the champion of the Philistine army. The Israeli army watched in fear from the sidelines while David trusted in the LORD. David’s conquests for the LORD are legendary and are found in the books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and the Psalms.

The LORD delivered David out of all his afflictions. He defeated his enemies; and overcame the assaults of Saul, his father-in-law, and the rebellion of Absalom, his son. He wrote, “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies” and “For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall” (Psalm 18:3, 29).

The righteous will suffer affliction – and often! The LORD will deliver us “out of them all,” not “from them all.” James confirmed this when he wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy ‘when’ you fall into various trials” (James 1:2). Paul agrees in 2 Timothy 3:10-12 (NKJV), “But you have carefully followed my… faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions…what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” If you live for the LORD, you should expect affliction – and the LORD’s deliverance!

It is safe to say that the LORD delivers us out of afflictions every day and we probably don’t even recognize it. Many of you have suffered far more than me and you could be writing your own story.

The LORD has delivered me:

  • On the sea:
    • in storms
    • In a 26’ Bayliner with a bilge full of gasoline
    • In gale-force winds, next to a sinking yacht.
  • In the air:
    • In a single-engine aircraft with our pilot flying in the wrong vector approaching the Vancouver International Airport. A mid-air collision was avoided by yards.
  • On the land:
    • In a multi-car pile-up in the fog on Hwy 99
    • When I fell out of a moving car; and when I fell off of a moving car
    • On Hwy 1 in the Canadian Rockies hauling a trailer load when I fell asleep at the wheel
    • On the I-5 in Washington when a traffic barrel fell onto the freeway. Brake lights lit up. My van’s brakes locked and it jerked to the left, sliding off the freeway, and sideways down an embankment, landing upright at the bottom of the hill, without flipping.
    • Frankly, every day on California freeways!
    • Out of fires, out of a flood, through earthquakes and storms
  • From evil people:
    • On Marine Drive in West Vancouver where the vehicle in front of me stopped suddenly and evil men jumped out, ran towards my car, throwing bottles and rocks at me.
    • From burglars who robbed us while we were at home, who stole goods, and personal identity and tried to take out 12 credit cards in my name in 24 hours
    • From evil guests whom I had to evict from our home with the drama and damage that came with it. (We have hosted 12,000 guests at our home over the last 15 years, most of whom were lovely guests, but some were evil incarnate).
  • In hospitals:
    • With a burst appendix, peritonitis, and a 10-day infection that could have led to sepsis
    • With a shattered heel, a bacterial infection leading to 8 surgeries, and a near amputation.
  • In spiritual battles:
    • In heated spiritual battles with false teachers who had already wormed their way into local churches in the Bay Area
    • By exposing wolves in sheep’s clothing who tried finding acceptance among believers
    • As I’ve shared the gospel, I’ve had my beard yanked by someone, another who spat at my feet; I’ve been laughed at, judged, and have been rejected
    • I have been despised by some for standing up for the truth
    • I have been ridiculed by others for my faith and trust in God
    • People have lied about me, publicly mocked me, and made outrageous false accusations
    • I will not back down in defense of the truth. But for personal attacks against me, I resign myself to this prayer: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
    • We rejoice that we are “counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).

My afflictions are like yours – many and varied, but the LORD delivers us out of them all. My afflictions cannot compare to what the Apostle Paul suffered, but the events of his life tell the story of the LORD’s deliverance out of his afflictions. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-33.

Now I face another affliction. Last summer, early indicators suggested that cancer had returned with a vengeance. Tests were ordered – an MRI, a CT scan, a bone scan, and a biopsy. I waited for the news. Finally, an afternoon video appointment was scheduled with my doctor.

The part of the story that I have never told publicly is what happened earlier in the day. That morning I was reading in the Psalms and the LORD drew my attention to Psalm 118:17-18: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. The LORD has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.” I believed the LORD had spoken to me. That afternoon, I was diagnosed with terminal, Stage IV prostate cancer. The Oncologist told me that there is no cure. I was not surprised by his diagnosis, but I remembered the verses and thought, “I will trust in the LORD!”

The LORD has delivered me out of all my afflictions to date. I expect that the LORD will deliver me out of this one, too! It will either be through physical healing, in which case I will continue to declare the works of the LORD. Or He will deliver me out of it by taking me home to be with Him, which is far better. If He chooses to take me to Heaven, then my work on earth is done and I will be forever with my LORD. I don’t see a downside to this.

Psalm 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”