If we read through the God-breathed songbook of Israel we’ll find plenty of psalms which remind us that in this life God’s favored people are in no way exempt from serious pain and intense suffering. It is how the psalmists’ deal with their pain that provides us with invaluable guidance and instruction. Take Psalm 69 for instance. David, the man after God’s own heart (1Sam.13:14), expresses the depth of his anguish when he confesses: “I am weary with my crying out… my eyes grow dim with waiting for my God” (v.3). As with a number of our own trials, David tells us his pain isn’t self-inflicted. He speaks of those “who hate [him] without cause” (v.4) his betrayal by his family (v.8), along with “reproach,” “dishonor”, and a variety of “foes” (v.19).
But the uniqueness of his response is that even in his fatigue he refuses to quell his trust or appeals to God. “But as for me” he sings, “my prayer is to you, O Lord” (v.13a). He is confident that “at an acceptable time” God will bring relief (v.13b). David is honest and states that “reproaches have broken [his] heart” and that he is “in despair” (v.20), and yet his enduring faith in God leads him to anticipate that one day God will “set [him] on high” (v.29) and he “will praise the name of God with a song” and “magnify him with thanksgiving” (v.30).
So let’s not be under any delusions that we Christians won’t suffer. But just as the godly men and women in Scripture, let us be tenacious in our hope and trust in a God who in time will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” us (1Pt.5:10).