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Holding On

There are days when it's difficult to rejoice. Oh, we talk about having the joy of the Lord and walking in the sunshine of His countenance. We are grateful for days like that, but there are also difficult days. The author of Psalm 88 penned these words when he was having one of those difficult days. He tells us about his problems.

First, he is struggling with unanswered prayer. "O Lord, God of my salvation, I have cried out day and night before You. Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry" (v. 1). This is not an unsaved man crying out to a God he doesn't worship. This is a true believer pleading with God for help. And so far, He hasn't done anything.

He also is coping with trouble and sickness. "For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to the grave. I am counted with those who go down to the pit; I am like a man who has no strength.... You have put away my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an abomination to them; I am shut up, and I cannot get out" (vv. 3,4,8). Some scholars think that the psalmist had leprosy, since he was segregated from everyone else.

The foundations of his life seem to be slipping away, and the possibility of death looms before him. In his desolation, what does he do? He holds on to God's power, loving-kindness and faithfulness.

What do you do on difficult days? Hold on to all that God is and all that He does. God is still working for you. All things are still working together for good (Rom. 8:28). Don't turn away from Him. Wait. He will bring you out of your affliction.

* * *

Whenever you experience a difficult day, encourage yourself by focusing on God's character and His attributes--power, loving-kindness and faithfulness. Remember what He has done for you in the past. In spite of what you see around you, trust the Lord. He will see you through your affliction.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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