How to Deal with Our Suffering?
Psalms is a book of prayers. It has 150 chapters, with only Psalms 39 and 88 ending in despair. Why are they there? Let’s learn from Psalm 88.
Psalm 88 talks about suffering, an inevitable aspect of life. In that Psalm, everything seemed to go wrong, with friends, loved ones, and life withering away. Felt totally rejected by God, the psalmist criticized and cross-examined God, V10-12. Such darkness could last for a very long time. V1&18.
The Bible is realistic about the effect of suffering on people. Psalm 39 even ends asking God to turn away so the psalmist might enjoy life again before death.
Though the psalmist was mad at God, the psalmist still prayed to Him.
Psalm 88 was written by Heman. According to 1Chron6, he was in charge of music. Under him, Psalms 42-49 and some in the Psalm 80s were written.
Just like darkness turning Job into someone great, darkness could have turned the psalmist into a great artist. Could he ever have imagined people thousands of years later still learning from his work? Has God really abandoned him?
We, the self-centered, deserve God’s abandonment. To reconcile with us, God paid the heavy price. God, the Father, totally turned away from Christ, with absolute darkness falling upon Him. Matt27:45.
Our loving God was willing to go through such pain for us. So, even seemingly in total darkness, we should trust God we are never totally stranded.
Darkness may be the time we ask ourselves whether we follow God to get earthly stuffs from Him. That’s usually how we start with God because we couldn’t see Him. But as time goes by, after experiencing His power, love and wisdom, have we grown? Do we still serve ourselves or Him?
Also, though Christ died a terrible death, He resurrected. One day we would resurrect. Nothing resurrection won’t fix.
To conclude, suffering is inevitable and we may not understand why. But trust that God always loves us. Darkness may be the time we grow deeper in Him, changing us into someone more like Christ. Also, trust that, one day, we would live in glory with Him.
Summarized from a Tim Keller’s sermon.
诗篇88章谈到苦难，一件生活中不能避免的事情。在这首诗篇中，作者悲叹良朋密友的遗弃和生命的凋谢，一切似乎都出了差错。 感到被上帝完全拒绝，作者反复地批评并质问上帝 （10-12节）。这样的黑暗可以何其漫长（1和18节）。
总而言之，苦难是不可避免的. 我们也许不能完全明白苦难为什么临到, 但相信上帝总是爱我们的。黑暗之时可能是我们更亲近祂的时候，可以使我们变得更像基督。有一天我们将与祂一起活在荣耀中。
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