How Dark Is It?

Life Link Devotional

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Psalms 88:1 O LORD, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you.

What a potentially disappointing day this started out to be. I love the sound of thunder as much as anyone, but when it wakes me up on a day when I have specific outdoor opportunities available to me then I tend to react negatively. Come on…admit it…you do the same.

But then, after investigating the evidence called weather radar, my hope was buoyed. The rain was already clearing, and the rest of the day holds a high chance of outdoor opportunities.

So, I opened the Bible in a spirit of praise and began to read today’s Psalm. It is interesting that Psalm 88 is the only Psalm out of 150 that doesn’t end with some degree of hope. Instead it ends with man’s friendship with darkness. What tragedies had he experienced that he felt his only comfort was to enjoy the blindness of darkness so he wouldn’t have to face them. What storm had so disappointed him that he entered such a state of discouragement.

Whoever this author named Heman was, he had obviously been through the pits. When he wrote these words he was at the brink of death, overwhelmed by waves of wrath from God, without friends and loved ones, and totally hopeless.

OK, God, I get the first point – my life is not that bad just because of a rain storm that potentially interrupts my plans. Yet Satan wants me to believe it’s that bad by distorting my perception of reality. I must choose to look at the facts and not be governed by my emotions.

Notice how the Psalm starts. This despairing man makes an opening statement of faith that tempers all the rest of what he will say.

You are the God who saves me!

Now my mind is flooded with His promises –

  • Nothing can separate me from His love…
  • No one can snatch me out of the Father’s hand…
  • I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of my inheritance with Jesus Christ in glory…
  • My inheritance is being kept for me by the power of God and is not affected by what happens in this life…
  • God has saved me!

Then I noticed verses 10 through 13 – a series of rhetorical questions for which the author knows the obvious answer is NO! God is in the midst of the darkest times of our lives. He realizes that he has not yet reached the point of hopelessness because he is still able to cry out to God for help.

The Holy Spirit reminds me of the truth of Hebrews 12:3-4 which says, Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

I still have breath, and that means He is still working in my life. All of the dreariness is a part of His plan to teach and train me. I just wish I would see the light at the end of the tunnel a little sooner. But true faith is tested best in the dark.

As I contemplated the significance of this Psalm, I glanced at the introduction to the Psalm and realize it’s significance. This dreary dirge became one of the worship songs in the Temple of God. At some point after the events that motivated its writing, Heman addressed this dark journal entry to the musicians and had them put it to music.

It is obvious that even though he could only see darkness when he wrote it, God had brought him through and back into the light. The example of his life became the ending to the song. The Lord who saves also delivers – Hallelujah!

So no matter how dark and dreary it appears today, remember this – God has saved you; it’s not as bad as it could be; and you will be delivered.

Embrace the One who even in the darkest dark has promised to never leave you or forsake you.

Pastor John

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