Devotional: Psalm 34:18

Introduction to Devotional: Psalm 34:18

The Bible, a revered and foundational text for Christians worldwide, contains a multitude of verses that offer comfort, guidance, and wisdom. Among these is Psalm 34:18 from the Old Testament, which holds a special place in the hearts of many believers. This verse, found in the New International Version (NIV), reads:

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18


Psalm 34 is attributed to David, a key figure in Jewish and Christian traditions. According to its title, David wrote this Psalm during a period of personal crisis, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who then drove him away. This context paints a picture of David in a state of vulnerability and distress.

This Psalm, and particularly verse 18, falls into a genre of psalms known as “Psalms of Thanksgiving,” where the author expresses gratitude to God for deliverance from various troubles. In the larger Biblical narrative, David’s life was marked by both triumph and turmoil, reflecting the human experience of highs and lows.

Verse Analysis

This verse begins with “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted,” a powerful affirmation of God’s presence in times of sorrow and distress. It’s a comforting message that God is not distant or unapproachable, but intimately close to those who are hurting.

“And saves those who are crushed in spirit,” continues the theme of divine intervention and support. It suggests that God’s salvation is not just about eternal matters, but also about providing relief and strength in our darkest moments. The use of “crushed in spirit” implies a depth of emotional or spiritual pain, yet promises divine rescue.

Theological Implications

Psalm 34:18 is rich in theological meaning. It highlights God’s compassion and empathy, portraying a deity who is not indifferent to human suffering. This contrasts with some ancient views of gods who were detached from human affairs. It suggests that God’s presence is a source of comfort and strength in times of emotional and spiritual anguish.

Moreover, this verse underscores the idea that God’s care is not limited to physical needs but extends to the emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals. It’s a message of hope that in our most broken states, we are not alone or forgotten.


Different Christian traditions may emphasize various aspects of this verse. For instance, some may focus on the personal comfort it offers, while others may highlight God’s role in providing spiritual salvation. However, across denominations, this verse is generally seen as a testament to God’s unwavering love and support for those in distress.

Application in Daily Life

For believers, Psalm 34:18 can be a source of immense comfort during difficult times. It encourages Christians to seek solace in their faith and to trust in God’s presence and support during periods of emotional turmoil.

In a practical sense, this verse can inspire acts of compassion towards others who are experiencing heartache or despair. It can serve as a reminder to be empathetic and supportive, mirroring the care and closeness that God shows.


In summary, Psalm 34:18 is a profound expression of God’s intimate concern for those who are hurting. It provides a deep sense of comfort and assurance that in times of emotional and spiritual distress, God is not only aware but actively present and saving. This verse encapsulates a fundamental aspect of the Christian belief in a compassionate and caring God. It serves as a beacon of hope, reminding believers and all who are brokenhearted of the comforting presence and saving grace of the Lord.

7 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Devotional: Psalm 34:18

What Does It Mean That the Lord Is Close to the Brokenhearted?

This phrase emphasizes God’s empathy and presence. It means that in times of emotional pain or heartache, God is not distant or aloof. Instead, He is perceived as being particularly near, offering comfort and support to those who are suffering.

Who Are the ‘Brokenhearted’ Referred to in This Verse?

The ‘brokenhearted’ can be anyone experiencing deep emotional pain or sorrow. This could be due to various life circumstances such as loss, disappointment, or personal trials. The term is inclusive, encompassing anyone in a state of emotional distress.

How Does God ‘Save’ Those Who Are Crushed in Spirit?

The term ‘save’ here refers to God providing relief, strength, and comfort to those who are feeling overwhelmed or spiritually burdened. It’s not necessarily about physical rescue but can be seen as offering spiritual solace and support that helps individuals cope with their challenges.

Is This Verse Suggesting That God Only Cares for Those Who Are Sad or in Trouble?

No, the verse is not implying that God’s care is exclusive to the sorrowful. Instead, it highlights that during times of distress, God’s presence and comfort are especially apparent. It assures that in moments of hardship, believers can especially feel God’s empathetic and comforting presence.

How Can Someone Experience God’s Closeness in Difficult Times, as Mentioned in This Verse?

This can be experienced through prayer, meditation, reading scripture, or through the support of a faith community. Many find that in seeking God during their hardships, they gain a sense of peace and comfort that helps them through their challenges.

Is There a Particular Way to Pray or Seek God When Feeling Brokenhearted, as in Psalm 34:18?

Prayer is personal and can vary greatly. However, when feeling brokenhearted, a prayer might include honestly expressing one’s feelings to God, asking for comfort and strength, and reflecting on scriptures that emphasize God’s love and care. There’s no specific formula; what’s important is the sincerity and openness of the heart.

How Do the Themes Expressed in Psalm 31:25 Relate to or Find Echoes in Other Verses and Passages in the Bible?

Psalm 34:18 is a verse from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament, offering comfort and hope by highlighting God’s closeness to those who are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. This verse is often sought for reassurance of God’s presence in times of distress and hardship. Let’s explore Psalm 34:18 and its relation to other parts of the Bible:

Isaiah 57:15 – “For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'”
Relation: Isaiah 57:15 echoes the sentiment of God’s presence with the humble and contrite, similar to Psalm 34:18’s message of God being close to the brokenhearted.

Matthew 5:4 – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Relation: Jesus’ words in the Beatitudes align with Psalm 34:18, as they both speak to God’s comfort and nearness in times of sorrow and mourning.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Relation: This passage in 2 Corinthians speaks of God as a source of comfort in troubles, mirroring the comfort promised in Psalm 34:18 to those who are brokenhearted.

Psalm 147:3 – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Relation: Psalm 147:3 provides a similar promise of healing and care for the brokenhearted, reinforcing the message of Psalm 34:18.

1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Relation: 1 Peter 5:7 encourages believers to bring their worries to God, assuring them of God’s care, which complements Psalm 34:18’s assurance of God’s nearness in times of distress.

Psalm 34:18, along with these related scriptures, underscores the theme of God’s compassion and presence in times of emotional and spiritual pain. These verses collectively highlight God’s attentiveness to those who are suffering and His role as a source of comfort and healing. They offer reassurance that in moments of deep distress, God is especially close, providing support and salvation to those who are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.

A Prayer Inspired by Psalm 34:18

In times of emotional turmoil and spiritual weariness, we often seek a source of comfort and strength that transcends our earthly struggles. Psalm 34:18 offers a profound reminder of God’s presence and compassion towards those who are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. Inspired by this verse, let us turn our hearts and minds towards prayer, seeking solace and guidance from the One who is ever-present in our moments of need.

Our Prayer Inspired by Devotional: Psalm 34:18

Heavenly Father,

In the quiet of this moment, I come before You, carrying the weight of a heart that feels broken and a spirit that feels crushed. In my moments of despair, when the shadows of sorrow cloud my path, I cling to the promise of Your word in Psalm 34:18, that You, O Lord, are close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit.

Lord, in Your boundless compassion, wrap me in Your comforting embrace. Let me feel Your presence, as real and as close as the air I breathe. In my weakness, be my strength; in my sadness, be my joy; in my turmoil, be my peace. Remind me that no pain is too deep for Your healing touch, no situation too difficult for Your mighty hand.

God of all comfort, help me to trust in Your unfailing love and mercy. Guide me through these challenging times and light my path with Your hope. Teach me to lean on You, for in Your arms, I find refuge and safety.

In my journey through valleys of sorrow, let Your grace be my guide. Open my eyes to see the blessings that still abound, and my heart to the lessons You are teaching me even now. Use my trials to draw me closer to You, to deepen my faith, and to make me more compassionate towards others who suffer.

Lord, I thank You for being a God who listens, who understands, and who acts. Thank You for not leaving me alone in my distress but for being ever-present and ever-loving. As I walk through this season of hardship, hold me close to Your heart, for in Your presence, there is fullness of joy, and in Your right hand, there are pleasures forevermore.

In Jesus’ name,


Share on