Psalms of Honesty and Truth
I would like to just skip Psalm 88 this morning! But it is another prose in honest feelings to God. Unfortunately, darkness is also part of the journey here that we must deal with and overcome. Where does our help come from? The Light. The Light floods a dark mind with possibilities, solutions, a way forward, confidence and strength. The Light comes right on the heels of darkness with profound, inexpiable joy in the morning…if we let throw open the shutters of our minds and let Him in. Jesus is The Light.
Remember The Light when darkness creeps in like a fog and clouds judgement. Comments and actions from friends and strangers hurt worse when we sit in darkness. Problems seem to have no solution when we dwell in the dark. Our gratitude quotient quickly fades to selfish pity over things we don’t have and think we need…as we stumble around in the dark. We are blinded to reality and our strength is zapped when we succumb to the dark. Guess what?! God is still there, just waiting for us to turn on The Light and see His face once again. Look full into His glory, His ways, His Truth, seeing things you forgot were there in the dark and walk out, into The Light. Cry out to Jesus and His Light, THE Light will come cascading in to help us. Every. Time.
Psalm 88, New Living Translation
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah. A song to be sung to the tune “The Suffering of Affliction.” A psalm[a] of Heman the Ezrahite.
1 O Lord, God of my salvation,
I cry out to you by day.
I come to you at night.
2 Now hear my prayer;
listen to my cry.
3 For my life is full of troubles,
and death[b] draws near.
4 I am as good as dead,
like a strong man with no strength left.
5 They have left me among the dead,
and I lie like a corpse in a grave.
I am forgotten,
cut off from your care.
6 You have thrown me into the lowest pit,
into the darkest depths.
7 Your anger weighs me down;
with wave after wave you have engulfed me. Interlude
8 You have driven my friends away
by making me repulsive to them.
I am in a trap with no way of escape.
9 My eyes are blinded by my tears.
Each day I beg for your help, O Lord;
I lift my hands to you for mercy.
10 Are your wonderful deeds of any use to the dead?
Do the dead rise up and praise you? Interlude
11 Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love?
Can they proclaim your faithfulness in the place of destruction?[c]
12 Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds?
Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about your righteousness?
13 O Lord, I cry out to you.
I will keep on pleading day by day.
14 O Lord, why do you reject me?
Why do you turn your face from me?
15 I have been sick and close to death since my youth.
I stand helpless and desperate before your terrors.
16 Your fierce anger has overwhelmed me.
Your terrors have paralyzed me.
17 They swirl around me like floodwaters all day long.
They have engulfed me completely.
18 You have taken away my companions and loved ones.
Darkness is my closest friend.
What can we learn about conquering darkness?
Heman was a servant of God who was suffering intensely and did not understand why, yet he persisted in praying to God and did not abandon his faith. Not all of life’s scripts have happy endings, but that does not mean that the Lord has forsaken us. From Heman’s experience, as recorded in this psalm, we can discover four instructions to follow when life falls apart and our prayers seemingly are not answered.
1. Come to the Lord by Faith (vv. 1-2).
2. Tell the Lord How You Feel (vv. 3-9).
3. Defend Your Cause before the Lord (vv. 10-14).
4. Wait for the Lord’s Answer (vv. 15-18).
No matter how we feel and no matter how impossible our circumstances, we can always come to the Lord with our burdens. Dark times are humbling. Darkness bring us down to our knees before God. Maybe, just maybe, that is not a bad thing. Just don’t live there.
When God answers, lifts you up from your knees and shows the Way, then get moving!
In Jesus Name, Amen