Discouragement, Anguish, the Lord

But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me?  Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness (Psalms 88:13-18, ESV)

The psalmist clearly is discouraged with the sentiments expressed. It is not unlike how we feel on occasion ourselves. Not knowing the historical context of these words, we might wonder if there was an actual experience in the life of the writer that warranted the Lord’s response along this line, or whether it was just a feeling of discouragement that generated a stronger feeling than actually was the case.

Whichever way it was, the key to this would not be the last six verses, but the appeal to the Lord, even out of perplexity, when discouragement was rampant. To who could the psalmist otherwise turn? Could he have turned to his parents? He could have, but their ability to comfort was for only a little while. Could he have turned to his wife? Assuming he was married, he could have, but that, too, would only last for a little while.

Could he have turned inward and stayed miserable in his anguish? This he did, in part, as you easily read from the Psalm. He knew, however, that was not helpful. No, he turned to the Lord because the Lord is the only answer a person has in life that is greater than life.

When life hits us with a one-two punch there is only one to whom we can turn that will actually pull us through in such dark moments of life. Whatever family can do (will do) will be less than that which the Lord has already done. RT

#discouragement, #distress, #family, #the-lord

Woe Is Me

The title refers to a phrase not heard much in these modern days. It means “grievous distress, affliction, or trouble”. It can also be used as “an affliction” or as “an exclamation of grief, distress, or lamentation”. People would say “woe is me” when they were in the midst of trouble and despair.

In the Bible woe is used most often of a pronouncement of grievous distress, affliction, or trouble: “Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him” (Isaiah 3:11).

Woe is generally used by a person to exclaim their distress or trouble because of something bad that has happened. However the apostle Paul used it as a pronouncement of trouble if he did not do something. “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16)

Many a bad thing had happened to Paul (2 Cor. 11:23-27) yet woe was declared upon himself if he failed to preach to gospel of Christ. Would it be any different for us?

In Christ, Steve Preston

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#distress, #evangelism, #preaching, #woe

A recent quote that made me sit up? Robe…

A recent quote that made me sit up? General Robert E. Lee once stated: “The Bible is a book in comparison with which all others in my eyes are of minor importance, and which in all my perplexities and distresses has never failed to give me light and strength”

The Bible has never failed to give me light and strength either.

General Douglas MacArthur was heard to say to one of his fellows: “Believe me, sir, never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the Word of God before I go to bed.”

Even though dead, General MacArthur still speaks, providing us a great example!

#bible, #book, #distress, #example, #light, #perplex, #read, #strength