Lord of the Darkness: Trusting Jehovah When Suffering Comes

Psalm 88 must be the darkest psalm of them all, and one of the bleakest passage in the Bible. As I read this today, I kept waiting for the yet or however or but that you find in other psalms, but there are none. The author, Heman, goes on and on about how bad his life is. Read my journal entry with more of the background and my commentary on this psalm here.

In all his dark despair, Heman did not give up on God; he did not stop coming to him in prayer. He addressed God as Lord, Jehovah four times in this psalm. Jehovah is the name for God that stresses his covenant relationship with his people. Heman recognized that God was still true to his promises. This gave Heman hope even in his hopelessness.

Every one of us as followers of Christ and as leaders in his kingdom will face suffering and pain and unanswered questions. At some point in your life you will, if you haven’t already, come to a place where you are wondering where God is. You’ll feel forsaken. You’ll ask God for help that only he can give and you’ll hear only quiet. This may feel very dark. 

In the midst of the dark, painful circumstances of our lives, we must hold on to God’s promises. We must be a covenant people. We must remember that God has made a covenant with us and we have made a covenant with him, so that when times get tough, we don’t give up … as the world does. We hold onto the covenant, we keep our promises, we trust in Jehovah Jireh, our Lord Provider. 
Simply put, we trust our God more than we trust our circumstances.

Author: Michael Mack

Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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