Perseverance in the midst of Suffering
What do most of us do when faced with a difficulty, a lingering illness or a personal Crisis that we just are not able to get out of? Many give us—retreat to
something or someone else or just plain quite in life.
-Perseverance in the face of hard times, doing the right think, the right way for the
Right reason……REGARDLESS……is not easy………but right!
-Perseverance—steadfastness in doing something despite the difficulty. It is a
Patient Enduring. Romans 15:5—teaches us that God is the giver of perseverance!
-We are studying in the Psalms this summer and today we are in an unfamiliar Psalm
Psalm 88 is written by Heman, a temple musician during the reign of David is the
author. It is the last of the sons of Korah’s Psalms and is perhaps the most plaintive
song—melody was a sad melody, mournful Psalm. “A plaintive cry,” Mournful—
-Ps. 88:18—ends with the word “darkness” there is no closing note of triumph as in
other Psalms we have studied that start with pain and hurt but ends with victory!
-This Psalm speaks of darkness, death, pain and perplexity, feelings of drowning,
loneliness and imprisonment. It is about a man who was suffering intensely and
did not understand “WHY?”
-YET—he persevered in praying to God and did NOT abandon his faith!
-“Not all of life’s scripts have happy endings, but that does not mean that the Lord
has forsaken us.” We can discover 4 instructions when life seems to be falling
apart and our prayers seemingly are not answered.
1. Vs. 1-2, Come to the Lord by Faith
-Vs. 15—Heman’s life had not been easy, and not it was more difficult.
-3,10,11, he felt death was very near
-Vs. 1—He did not give up—Notice who he trusted in—“LORD” (1,9,13,14)
The Holy, Covenant keeping, relationship building One is who he trusted in and
who he addressed his prayer to!
-Vs. 1, God—Elohim—Creator God—expresses power—“God of my salvation”
-Heman had trusted the Lord to save him, and the fact that he prayed as he did
indicates that his faith was still active!
-3 times 1,2,13, we are told he cried to the Lord—different words, fervent in his
praying. He believed in a God who could hear his prayers and do wonders 10,12
and He was faithful—11
-All this evidence of faith in Heman’s heart, even though he spoke like he was
ready to give up—he prayed day and night 1,9—he trusted that no obstacles
Would come between his prayers and the Lord.
-“No matter how we feel and no matter how impossible our circumstances, we can
always come to the Lord with our burdens!”
2. Vs. 3-9, Tell the Lord how you feel
-He is without strength and forsaken by the Lord—tell Him!
-Heman felt like he was without God—forsaken—God why have you hurt me like
this? Transparent—God can handle our feelings
-Jim Cymbala—“Jesus we don’t know what to do—-send Your Spirit, Send the
Fire, burn, penetrate, change, renovate, illuminate.” In the meantime—persevere!
-Like Job, Heman wanted to know “why” all the suffering….sometimes we won’t
3. Vs. 10-14, Don’t be afraid to defend your cause before the Lord
-Like David in Psalm 6, Heman offered reasons why the Lord should act…
-Heman’s death would rob God of a great opportunity to demonstrate His power
and glory. He could serve the Lord in the land of the living.
-Heman prayed to the Lord for healing and strength and at the close of a busy
day he prayed again.
-Daily Heman heard the priestly benediction from Numb. 6:24-26, “The Lord
bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be
gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.”
-Blessings did not come, yet day in and day out Heman persevered, doing what
was right—–regardless before the Lord!
4. Vs. 15-18, Wait for the Lords answer and be faithful!
-We don’t know what the affliction was that came to Heman early in his life,
we just know it started when he was young and kept on going, and probably
got worse and worse…can’t imagine….Heman could not look back over his
life on a time when he enjoyed good health!
-Note the word pictures that he draws—fiery waves—Billows…that almost
-There was nobody near enough to rescue him—-darkness was all around him
Oh—WOW, do I feel better about being in church today Shada, after this
sermon I need some anti depressants—what’s going on here?
-Friends, don’t miss something so rich here in this Psalm—“Heman continued
To pray—and look to God for help!”
-“Prayer…is not only asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the
Atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural.” Oswald Chambers
-Job. 13:5, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him”
-Ps. 27:13-14, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see
The goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong
And let your heart take courage; yes wait for the Lord.”
-The Lord always has the last word, and it will not be “darkness.”
-“We should never doubt in the darkness what God has taught in the light.”
-Romans 8:37, 38-39, What He has taught us in the light….
-John 14:1-6—What He has taught us in the light.
-Perseverance—Steadfast Enduring—“Doing the Right things the right
way…..Regardless……! Glory is coming,
-The land of NO MORE is before us—NO MORE—-Pain, suffering, sadness
strife, sickness, death!!!!!