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Go to God

"Don't stop praying. Be honest with God, and be comforted knowing you don't suffer alone. When all seems hopeless, go to God." By Elizabeth Cooper
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Recently, I decided to read through the book of Psalms in the Bible. It’s a beautiful book full of praise and worship to God. On every page, there is a prayer or song written to God. But each Psalm is not full of joy. There are some Psalms where the writer is praying and pleading to God about a devasting time that he is going through. Psalm 88 is one such Psalm:

“O Lord, God of my salvation,
    I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry!

For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves.

You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a horrorto them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
    my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O Lord;
    I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
    Do the departed rise up to praise you?
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
    or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
    or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

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.” – Psalm 88 (ESV)

This Psalm is full of pain in every verse. Which might cause one to think, “Why is such a Psalm in the Bible?”

Well, just like with all Scripture, we can learn something from this Psalm. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) says: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of Godmay be complete, equipped for every good work.”

So here are a few things we can take out of Psalm 88:

1. We can be honest with God.

The man who wrote this Psalm was completely honest and vulnerable about what he was going through. We don’t need to hide our pain or suffering—certainly not from God, who already knows everything we go through. It’s okay to not always be happy. We can be vulnerable before God, just how the man was in this Psalm.

2. We are not alone in our suffering.

We can find comfort in this Psalm, knowing that we are not the only ones who go through times of suffering. Throughout the Bible, there are examples of people who suffer. And we know that even now, there are still people all over the world who are experiencing, or have experienced what we are going through. 1 Peter 5:9 (ESV) says: “Resist [the devil] him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

3. Don’t lose hope in God.

In this Psalm, there appears to be no end in sight for the man’s suffering. But here’s the extraordinary thing about it all: despite everything the man is going through, he still prays. He still has faith in God, even though his situation appears hopeless. This is shown by how he still prays to God day and night, as it says in verse one: “O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you.”

Keep praying to God. Don’t lose hope in him, even when all seems lost. For Luke 18:7-8a (ESV) says: “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.”

So, don’t stop praying. Be honest with God, and be comforted knowing you don’t suffer alone. When all seems hopeless, go to God.

Elizabeth is a 17-year-old woman who loves Jesus. She enjoys sharing her insights on Scripture on her blog, elizabethacooper.wixsite.com/mysite-2 and on her Instagram @lizzaacooper. She loves being a middle school youth group leader at her church, as well as being a sibling of four.

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