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Suffering and The Lord

by on June 09, 2021

Key Scripture: Psalm 22:19-21 "But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!"

Read Psalm 22

Often in the Psalms and the entire book of Lamentations, we run into what has been called Psalms of Lament. These psalms open up to us the inner struggles of people just like us who are experiencing crippling doubt brought about by painful circumstances or incredibly strenuous trials. Psalm 22 starts with the famous cry that we know from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Note other sections in this psalm where David describes his emotional turmoil (vs. 2, 14, and 15). All of this anguish is poured out before the Lord.

But psalms of lament also capture the writer's sense of hope and trust in the Lord. This psalm, though written by David, is about the "greater David," our Lord Jesus. When He quoted the first line of this psalm from the cross, he was being both prophetic and reminding us that the Lord will bring justice and set all things right regardless of our circumstances. Jesus may suffer death, but the Father will raise Him to life. Likewise, even when it may seem completely hopeless for us, God Almighty is on our side. Even if we find nothing but suffering and evil in this life, we will reign with Him in the next. Hope in the Lord, and wait on Him "For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him" (v. 27).

Questions to Consider: How does reading through someone else's struggle help you with your own? According to this psalm, how should we respond when we face difficult trials? Where does praise for God (v. 22) fit in the idea of lament?

Prayer Prompts:

  • Spend time thanking the Lord for how you have seen Him deliver you in the past.

  • Pray a prayer of dedication, telling the Lord that you are resolved to hope and trust in Him no matter what.

  • Read Col. 1:11. Pray for His strength to help you endure life with patience and joy.

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