Sunday, April 21, 2019

From the Heart: No Relief is Found

Read Psalm 88

(1) O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. (2) May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. (3) For my soul is full of trouble.

Walking with the Lord is more fulfilling than anything this world can offer, but it is not an uninterrupted journey of joy, peace and praise. Nowhere does the Bible say that God’s people are exempt from physical pain or the suffering of great mental and spiritual darkness. We need only to look at the people of God in the Bible. As we read through the book of Genesis, we see men of great faith but none without this world’s trouble.

In one of my short stories I read about one of England’s preachers, C.H. Spurgeon, who lived from 1834 to 1892. It said that during his ministry he was plunged into severe depression, due in part to gout but also for other reasons. In a biography of the “prince of preachers“, Arnold Dallimore wrote, “What he suffered in those times of darkness we may never know… even his desperate calling on God brought no relief. There are dungeons, he said, beneath the castles of despair.”

Psalm 88, written by a godly man named Heman, stands alone in the psalter of its unrelenting sorrow and gloom. Unlike David, whose despair usually gave way to hope, Heman’s psalm ends with the word “darkness.”

But how can such a woeful psalm encourage us? First, it confirms that some of God’s people do undergo great physical and emotional misery. Second, it shows the way out. Heman poured out his anguish to God even though no answer came. Some Bible scholars see his mental agony a parallel to the suffering of Christ. Not sure I would agree with that, but looking back to Calvary, we know that when He bore our sin He was actually forsaken by God. He was dying in our place. Therefore, we who trust Him will never be abandoned. God promises that deliverance is certain, even when there is no relief in sight.

Remember; God is with us in the darkness just as surely as He is with us in the light.    

PRAYER:

Our Father, who art in Heaven, I humbly come to you this day knowing that You are always near, that You are always listening to our hearts and our minds and that You care for our souls. Bless us Oh God, with the faith of our fathers and the love of Jesus that we might endure all of this life’s troubles, knowing that this is just a temporary stay on our way to eternity in Heaven. All praise, glory and honor be unto Jesus your Son and our Savior who died in our place to open that door to our heavenly home. 

In Jesus Holy Name, Amen!

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