Sometimes, trouble lingers. Sometimes we teeter on the edge of Sheol, fall into the pit, and lack strength. The words and feelings that fill our souls are: DEAD, in the grave, no more, cut off, depths, DARK and deep. Things lie heavy and overwhelm. We are SHUNNED, horrified, helpless, filled with SORROW and cannot escape. Wrath, destruction and darkness abound.
The grief was deep and hope was dim for the psalmist who wrote Psalm 88. He questions God in his despair (vs 10, 11). He acknowledges the sovereignty that allows the trial: “You (God) have caused” and “Your wrath.” But implied throughout the psalm is the understanding that the God who allows sorrow is the same God who brings victory.
Unlike most other Psalms, this lament does not build to a conclusion of confident joy and praise. This one ends in pain. The victory has yet to come. Hope has yet to burst through the clouds, making this Psalm resonate deeply with those of us still waiting.
- …still waiting for the prodigal to return or the Pharisee to repent.
- …still waiting for healing and relief.
- …still waiting for restoration and transformation.
Where is our hope?
Despite the Psalmist’s grief he does not forget with who his hope remains.
- “O Lord,” he writes, “God of my salvation.”
- “I call upon you, O Lord.”
- “I spread my hands before You.”
- “I cry out to You.”
- “My prayers come before You.”
Our hope, in the darkest of grief and in the unrelenting pain of delays, is in the Lord. Hold firm and hold fast.