LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint;
heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, LORD, how long?
Turn, LORD, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the LORD has heard my weeping.
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
the LORD accepts my prayer.
All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
Persecution is a terrible thing. When we are hounded by our enemies who seek our destruction, we can easily despair, especially when it seems like they have the upper hand and can succeed. It is worse when WE have been the ones to give them the ammunition to take us down. The days can be bad when you don’t know where the next arrow will come from or where it will land. However, the nights are the worst because you are alone in the dark with your fears, and they can cripple you.
David was not a weak man. He was a warrior who had faced down wolves and giants and huge armies without batting an eyelid. But even the bravest of men can have times when they feel cornered with no escape in sight. David went through such a time. One can picture him lying in his bed, staring into the abyss with haunted eyes. However, David was a man of faith, and he knew that there was always one ray of hope in the darkest of nights, and he turned his gaze toward it, asking the Lord for mercy. And that hope saw him through the night.
All of us go through similar dark nights of the soul when things seem hopeless, and defeat appears inevitable. However, like David, we should turn our eyes away from our situation to our God, taking hope in the words of Paul: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Notice he doesn’t say “in a few things” but “in all things,” meaning that God is working for our good in everything that happens in our lives, good or bad. We might not understand how good can come out of a particular situation we are going through, but we can rest assured that God will make that happen.
As an illustration, consider the event we celebrate as Good Friday today. We can call it “good” only in retrospect. It must have seemed like it was a terrible Friday at the time! Jesus was betrayed by a man he loved. All his friends deserted him in his greatest hour of need. He was scorned and vilified by just about everybody else. He was forced to carry a cross up a hill, and once he was there, he was crucified on the same cross that he carried. What a horrible thing to happen! His enemies would undoubtedly have rejoiced, but to everyone who remained close to him, especially his apostles who saw all their hopes and dreams dashed to pieces, it would have seemed like a terrible day! But then Jesus rose again, and they soon realized that was seemed so bad was actually good. Very good.
Take hope, dear friend. God will make good come out of the bad. Be strong now.
God bless you.