I very rarely do what I’m going to do this morning in my “coffee with the Lord” post (in fact I can count the times on one hand)! … I’m going to quote (and post) the notes from the ESV Study Bible!
What prompted this was, of course, part of my Bible reading today (Psalm 88) and also what dear friends and colleagues of mine are going through right now… Also disasters and injustices that people are experiencing! The issue? … How to make sense of – how to deal with – what seems so difficult and painful – bad things that happen to good people (sometimes VERY GOOD people).
This is what the introductory note from the ESV Study Bible says about Psalm 88…
“This is an individual lament, suited for someone who is so overwhelmed with trouble that even their friends shun them, and who wrestles with the dread that comes from suspecting that perhaps even the Lord has shunned them as well.! The Psalm does not specify the troubles, only that they feel like expressions of God’s relentless wrath; this allows the psalm to be used by ‘the faithful’ for a wide variety of hardships. Most laments let in a ray of sunshine, usually closing on a confident note; Psalm 88 is distinct from all the rest in that there is no explicit statement of confidence … The psalm instills a tough faith in its singers by reminding them to KEEP TURNING TO GOD (‘The God of my salvation’ – vs. 1) even during those times when it seems that there is no answer being given. (The experiences of Job provide a good example of this kind of suffering.) … THOSE WITHOUT SUCH PROBLEMS SHOULD PRAY THIS PSALM ON BEHALF OF THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING!”
Here is how the Psalm begins… “Lord, you are the God who saves me! Day and night I cry out to you! May my prayer come before You; turn your ear to my cry! I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death… I am like one without strength…”
I do not know how my friends may feel this morning about their circumstances… Things right now may seem hopeless. My heart aches for you! I know you’re crying out to the Lord! Keep it up!!! So am I… I’m praying for you today!! I BELIEVE HE WILL HEAR YOUR CRY, COME ALONGSIDE, AND HELP YOU!! I believe that!! …And I’m praying!!!