April 5 – Devotion

Date: April 5

Scripture: Psalm 88

O Lord, God of my salvation,
I cry out day and night before you.(Ps. 88:1, ESV)

C. H. Spurgeon, the great London preacher and evangelist, named Psalm 88 “the darkest of all the Psalms” (“An Exposition of Psalm 88” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 41). Its 18 verses do not contain a glimpse of the sunny uplands or the mountaintop experience. The writer, Heman, bares the depth of the despair of his soul on a journey through the valley.

From 1 and 2 Chronicles we learn that Heman was a grandson of Samuel, the last judge of Israel. He was blessed with 14 sons and 3 daughters. He appears to have been very talented musically and was renowned for his wisdom. But none of that shielded him from experiencing depression, which had tortured him from his youth.

For me, one of the things that makes the Bible such a wonderful book is that it speaks to the entirety of the human condition. In good times, bad times, and even “blah” times, we can find verses that resonate with our thoughts and our feelings.

And what was Heman experiencing when God inspired him to write this psalm? His soul was full of troubles, he felt himself close to the abode of the dead, he had no strength, he felt cut off from God, he felt overwhelmed, his companions shunned him, he felt he had no way out, he felt helpless, and even his beloved had shunned him. Whew! That is quite a list of troubles.

So what can we do when we are in despair? We can make the same choice as Heman: keep praying. He cried out day and night and brought his prayers to God in the morning. Are troubles at work making you fearful for your job? Pray. Is your health failing? Pray. Are there troubles in your family? Pray. It does not have to be an eloquent prayer. A heartfelt cry will do.

As we prepare for Easter, remember that Jesus himself felt abandoned: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). But because of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross we no longer have to be separated from the love of God. The Lord is the God of our salvation if we choose Him.

Prayer for the Journey:
Lord, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the troubles of my life. Lead me to keep praying, no matter what, and to trust in You.

Prepared by: Tommy Leavelle


3 Responses to “April 5 – Devotion”

  1. Marti Spaulding says:

    I needed this today. Thank you!

  2. Vicki Williams says:

    Sometimes life really hurts. Thank you.

  3. Debbie Keen says:

    How sweet is God’s timing through you with this devotion today, Tommy! Thank you!

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