One day I will look back at these trying times and say, “Lord, now I see. You were there all the time, working my miracle!”
Those who are in despair may be tempted to shut themselves out of communion with God. Yet doing so can be fatal. In Psalm 88, you may find a description of what you are going through. A godly man named Heman tells of his hopeless situation:
“My soul is full of trouble. I have been brought down to the pit, and I am among the dead. God has laid me in the lowest pit in darkness, and his wrath lies hard on me. My friends have forsaken me; I am shut up, closed in. I mourn because of my affliction” (my paraphrase).
Heman then challenges God: “Wilt thou show wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? And thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” (Psalm 88:10–12).
Heman is saying, in effect, “I need a miracle now, Lord, not at the resurrection. This is my last hope. Soon it will be too late, because I’ll be dead. You face a deadline here, God. Help me! Why are You casting me off? Why do You hide Your face from me? Why don’t You answer my cries?”
This is hopelessness, despair, an apparently impossible crisis.
What can a godly soul do? How does a righteous soul react? Like Heman, we are to cry night and day: “O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee. Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry. . . . Unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee” (Psalm 88:1–2, 13).
Here are three things I do in my times of great affliction:
- I receive and believe in the love and delight of my heavenly Father.
- I pour out my heart before Him, crying to Him in silence.
- I encourage my soul with His promises daily.