A Desperate Cry For Help
Read Psalm Chapter 88
Ps 88:13 But I cry to You for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before You. 14 Why, O LORD, do You reject me and hide Your face from me?
This entire chapter is a desperate cry to the Lord for help. It is written from a heart filled with despair, bordering upon complete hopelessness. For that reason it was hard to pick out which verses to highlight today’s theme. I often hear the cries of young (and old) men who are perilously close to a complete breakdown; feeling helpless and hopeless in their struggle. Many are close to abandoning God completely, as they perceive Him to be completely deaf to their pleas and unsympathetic to their plight.
When I encounter a man who is going through this kind of despair, I rarely know what to say. I know that God is on top of the situation, and I know that God’s heart hurts as He hears and sees the circumstances in play. I also know that God has some plan in mind, one that we cannot comprehend in the life of that individual. But when a man is in this state of mind, speaking those words are of little value to the one in trouble. It is very difficult for a man to exercise faith in times like that.
I have had times like that, when circumstances have come dangerously close to taking away all vestiges of my faith and trust in the Lord. Words don’t seem to help at all during those times. So what can be said in this devotion that might give us some small ray of hope the next time we face such trials? Well, if someone who is currently there is reading this, there likely is little that can be written that would bring about any measure of comfort. We must prepare ahead of time, developing a plan to counteract the feelings of hopelessness.
What we can do, is to prepare ourselves beforehand, that we might not be taken by surprise if we ever find ourselves in this state of mind.
1. Let us remember that God does not abandon His children when they are feeling desperation. One of the greatest deterrents to getting out of that kind of mire is our feeling that God has abandoned us. While we are of sound mind, let us firmly implant that truth in our hearts.
2. We must hold on to the slightest ray of hope that can be found. The writer of Psalm 88 had one thing going for him. Despite the hopelessness expressed in his prayer, he at least was still praying. As long as there is one millionth of one ounce of a belief in God, a man can still cry out to Him. In a way, praying while in this state of mind may actually be the greatest exhibit of faith that can be found. If a man can find the strength to seek God when he believes his situation to be hopeless, there is a “mustard seed” of faith there.
3. If we can possibly remember this in our time of need, God’s ways are not our ways. He doesn’t always do things in a way that we can understand. His ways are much too complex for us to grasp by our finite minds.
4. Maybe the most important thing we should remember is that our enemy is very likely involved in our plight. If he didn’t cause it, he most certainly is trying to take advantage of it. If we can somehow remind ourselves of how devious our enemy is, and how easily we fall for his lies, we have a chance of applying some small amount of logic to our situation. He always sees to it that seeds of doubt are planted in our minds.
5. Finally, if we can somehow, someway, find the strength to pick up our bibles, and read part, or all, of the book of Psalm, that too is an exhibition of a small amount of faith. That “mustard seed” can sprout and grow in His word; sometimes when nothing else seems to work.
As alluded to earlier, it is very difficult to find the strength we need once we find ourselves in this Psalmist’s place. Therefore, we need to spend time meditating on these thoughts, so that if the time comes, it will be easier to remember them. And, if all else fails, our Lord will not allow us to sink beyond His help and His control. Even if we do all the wrong things next time we are in despair, He will still remain faithful. I love this verse:
2Ti 2:13 if we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.
Prayer: My heart aches for those who are in this situation. Father, remind them of Your faithfulness. Help them to remember this verse from 2nd Timothy. Wrap them up in Your arms and hold them close. Catch them when they fall, for You have promised to do so.