Psalm 88:2 May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
Read Psalm 88 This is a prayer from a depressed and lonely person, who feels that they are so all alone in the world, that even God has deserted them, that they might as well be dead, and are in fact a living dead.
Read Job Chapter 36
Consider Job 36 in relation to Psalm 88. Do you think the person in Psalm 88 would gain comfort from reading Job 36. Are there other bible verses or Psalms that you feel would be comforting if you were feeling depressed and alone? (Hint: The Lords prayer, Psalm 23, Psalm 91, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5, The Beatitudes)
My favorite Psalm is 91. The imagery especially in the KJV is just beautiful. The idea of hiding under God’s “wings” like a chick under a mother hen is pretty irresistible when you are going through a hard time in life. We all have hard times and struggle with feeling alone during those times. After all there is no one on earth who understands what each of us is going through (and we all are going through something called life, which at times can be difficult to bear). That is because as much as we can love another person we cannot live their life, or get inside their head and have their emotions or their perspective on what is going on at all times. God is the only one who can truly hear our cries when we are sad and really understand all that we are going through in life, and all that we have already been through. God both celebrates our joys with us, and also bears our sadness with us.
He hears us even when we are crying from within our hearts and souls and we don’t even know the words to say to tell him or anyone else how we feel or what we need. God always knows. The thing is we just need to lean on him through prayer. Sometimes, you can just bow your head, and cry to God about your anguish. He already knows what is in your heart. God is faithful to offer comfort our times of distress.
Sometimes that comfort may come in the form of another person saying a timely word, or sharing a painful time of their own and reassuring you that they got through it. Once when my family and I were going through a hard time God provided some words from one of my friends who had gone through a similar experience when she was young: “Eventually you will get through this, and things will settle down, and there will be a new normal…it won’t be like the old normal…but things will settle down and there will be a new normal.” Those were some of the most reassuring words at that time that I had heard. I clung to them. God had given me such a wonderful friend who having suffered themselves was able to lift me up by giving me these words of encouragement.
The thing about God’s comfort is that you have to be willing to be comforted. You have to be looking for that comfort. It is like having a pillow and bed and home available to you, but choosing to sleep outside in the cold on the hard ground instead. Even out on the cold hard ground, God is there with you offering you comfort. To me that is such a comforting thought….it is an empowering thought…because God loves us and knows us so well.
Job 36: Elihu continued:2 “Bear with me a little longer and I will show you
that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.
3 I get my knowledge from afar;
I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
4 Be assured that my words are not false;
one who has perfect knowledge is with you.
5 “God is mighty, but despises no one;
he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.
6 He does not keep the wicked alive
but gives the afflicted their rights.
7 He does not take his eyes off the righteous;
he enthrones them with kings
and exalts them forever.
8 But if people are bound in chains,
held fast by cords of affliction,
9 he tells them what they have done—
that they have sinned arrogantly.
10 He makes them listen to correction
and commands them to repent of their evil.
11 If they obey and serve him,
they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
and their years in contentment.
12 But if they do not listen,
they will perish by the sword[a]
and die without knowledge.
13 “The godless in heart harbor resentment;
even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.
14 They die in their youth,
among male prostitutes of the shrines.
15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
he speaks to them in their affliction.
16 “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress
to a spacious place free from restriction,
to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked;
judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches;
do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
19 Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts
sustain you so you would not be in distress?
20 Do not long for the night,
to drag people away from their homes.[b]
21 Beware of turning to evil,
which you seem to prefer to affliction.
22 “God is exalted in his power.
Who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed his ways for him,
or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?
24 Remember to extol his work,
which people have praised in song.
25 All humanity has seen it;
mortals gaze on it from afar.
26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.
27 “He draws up the drops of water,
which distill as rain to the streams[c];
28 the clouds pour down their moisture
and abundant showers fall on mankind.
29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
how he thunders from his pavilion?
30 See how he scatters his lightning about him,
bathing the depths of the sea.
31 This is the way he governs[d] the nations
and provides food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning
and commands it to strike its mark.
33 His thunder announces the coming storm;
even the cattle make known its approach.[e]