My Soul Is Full of Troubles ~ Psalm 88

silhouette of man standing on side of mountain at dawn

O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before You:
Let my prayer come before You: incline Your ear unto my cry;
For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draws nigh unto the grave.
I am counted with them that go down into the pit:
I am as a man that has no strength:
Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave,
whom You remember no more, and they are cut off from Your hand.
You have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
Your wrath lies hard upon me, and You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah.
You have put away my acquaintance far from me;
You have made me an abomination unto them:
I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
My eye mourns by reason of affliction: LORD,
I have called daily upon You, I have stretched out my hands unto You.

Will You show wonders to the dead?
shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah.
Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?
or Your faithfulness in destruction?
Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?
and Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

But unto You have I cried, O LORD,
and in the morning shall my prayer prevent You.
LORD, why cast You off my soul?
why hide You Your face from me?
I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up:
while I suffer Your terrors I am distracted.
Your fierce wrath goes over me; Your terrors have cut me off.
They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.
Lover and friend have You put far from me, and my acquaintance into darkness.

This psalm is pretty dark, but let’s face it: we all have these days. Isn’t it wonderful to know that the answer to even our darkest days can be found in God’s Word? We open the pages and read, and we understand that we are not alone in our suffering.

Will You show wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah.
Verses 10-12 have a poignant message. Selah means “Think about it.” I cannot praise God when I am dead, so I must remember Him while I live. Sure, we’ll praise Him in heaven, but how much better to praise Him now. It will be easy to praise Him when all our trials and troubles are over, but God is greatly magnified when we can praise Him now, in the midst of those trials and troubles. This is not easy to do. It takes faith and hope. Like stars, faith and hope are lights that shine only in the darkness. They are not necessary when we can see what lies before us; their value is made manifest in the darkness, just as the stars become guiding lights in the absence of the sun.

Lover and friend have You put far from me, and my acquaintance into darkness.
Most psalms that deal with the heavy burdens of the heart end on a note of praise, but not this one—at least, not on the surface. But when my lover and friend are lost to me in the darkness, even then I am not alone, for the Lord has promised that He will never forsake me. Let’s skip ahead to Psalm 139 for a bit of explanation….

Psalm 139:7-12 Where shall I go from Your spirit? or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, You are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,” even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hides not from You; but the night shines as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to You.

No one likes to be estranged from the people they love, but sometimes isolation becomes necessary to remind us that He is all we need. My friend, if you are going through a dark valley just now, put your hope and trust in God, for He has promised never to leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). And this valley will not last forever. You will come out safely on the other side.

❧          ❧          ❧

Photo taken on Popocateptl in Mexico, 1994

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2 thoughts on “My Soul Is Full of Troubles ~ Psalm 88

  1. I love the Psalms… David and the other psalmists wrote so honestly… and yet, God is always central and trusted. What a wonderful example of faith to be found in the Psalms! Thank you for this wonderful post,Angela! You are so right. It is wonderful to know that God is there even in the darkest of life’s circumstances! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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