April 13 Devotional

Have you ever struggled with depression? Have you walked through valleys in life? Are you prone to despair?

Times of loneliness, despair, and distraught questioning of God’s purpose for our lives can draw us into deep and dark places.

The dedication of Psalm 102 is “A prayer of one afflicted, when he is faith and pours out his complaint before the Lord.”

The Psalmist’s affliction is quickly felt…

My days pass away like smoke…

My heart is struck down like grass and has withered…

I forget to eat my bread…

I lie awake… like a lonely sparrow on the housetop…

I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink…

You have taken me up and thrown me down… (vv. 3-11)

The darkness of his life has surrounded him, engulfed him in despair, and left him feeling as if no one cares, not even God. What is he to do? Where will he find strength to rise? Only in God’s rich power and abundant mercy.

But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever… You will rise and have pity on Zion… For the Lord builds up Zion; he appears in his glory; he regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayers… (vv.12-17)

Where is his hope found to fight the dark despair that encircles him? In God, who is both mighty and merciful. God’s arm is not short to save and lift up, nor is he slow to hear the cries of the destitute and downtrodden.

If you’re facing darkness take hope in Psalm 102. Fight to shine the light of the knowledge of God’s might and mercy into your heart with his powerful word. Cling to the hope of God’s ear being close to your cry and not far off from your plea for mercy.

[I wrote this a few days in advance and apparently got the date wrong on the reason plan. Psalm 102 was a part of yesterday’s reading.]

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