June 16th - Psalm 88

This devotional was penned by Eduardo.

We can all think about a difficult situation we’ve had to go through, a delicate time in our lives. As we read Psalm 88 today, we can perhaps sympathise with the writer on some level. As humans we all go through some sort of trial in life, we are going through a difficult moment right now. Yet, note how the Psalmist begins his plea - “O Lord, the God who saves me”. This highlights the fact that though we, believers, may live with continuous troubles and difficulties, we can still have the hope that God is a saviour. This was the highlight of this Psalm for me, although all is bad for the Psalmist, he is able to share this all with God. Likewise, no matter how low we feel, we are able to take it all to God, expressing our pain to Him.

While working here in London, I always have something playing through my earphones. This week I listened a lot to a band called Beautiful Eulogy and they have a song called “If”. They pour their hearts out on the subject of believers going through trials:

“If in one unfortunate moment you took everything that I own, everything You've given from heaven above and everything that I've ever known ... It would crush me, it would break me, it would suffocate and cause heartache, I would taste the bitter dark providence, but You would still preserve my faith … And I can't even begin to imagine the sting that kind of pain brings. I would never blame You for evil, even if You caused me pain, I came into this world with nothing and when I die it'll be the same. I will praise Your name, in the giving and taking away, If I have YOU I could lose everything and still consider it gain.”

This theme is further explained in the New Testament: 

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (James 1:2-3). 

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). 

We will meet trials. The question is, how will we react to them? The Psalmist does not abandon God, but pleads to Him. The trial sends him straight back to God. Tough times can teach us perseverance, among many other things. Perhaps, without trials we can grow to be idle and complacent. But through all of this, we can face every trial with the confidence and assurance that He will still preserve our faith. We have been given the biggest gift, eternal life, and this will not be taken from us - “Jesus Christ will sustain you until the end” (1 Corinthians 1:7-8). “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion…” (Philippians 1:6). Let us not allow a bad situation to rob us of the joy of knowing Christ, or hold us back from growing closer to Him. Amen.

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