What Psalm 38 Teaches Us about Suffering
In Psalm 38, David shares his journey of suffering and how God was with him through it all. As we read this psalm, we are reminded that God is present even in our darkest moments, and He can use our pain for His glory. Here, we’ll explore what we can learn from David’s experience of suffering as described in Psalm 38.
God’s Presence in Our Pain
At the beginning of this psalm, David cries out to God and asks Him why He has forsaken him (Psalm 38:1-2). Though it may feel like God has abandon us when we are going through difficult times, the Bible reminds us that this is not true (Isaiah 40:28). Even though sometimes God’s presence seems hidden during our sufferings, He is still with us (Psalm 139:7-12). As David cries out to God in this psalm, he expresses his trust that God will answer his prayers (Psalm 38:9-15). We too can have faith that even if it feels like God isn’t listening, He will hear our prayers and answer them in His own time.
The Adversary’s Role in Our Pain
David also mentions his enemies throughout this psalm (Psalm 38:19-20). The Bible teaches us that there is an enemy who seeks to destroy us—Satan—and he will use whatever means necessary to do so (John 10:10; 1 Peter 5:8). However, as Christians, we must remember that no matter what Satan throws at us—no matter how much pain or suffering we go through—we have the ultimate victory over him because Jesus has already defeated sin and death on the cross (Romans 8:37-39; 1 John 4:4)! As David acknowledges here in Psalm 38, this truth allows us to keep going even when things seem dark and bleak.
Our Response During Difficult Times
Finally, as we read Psalm 38, let’s reflect on how David responds during his time of suffering. He doesn’t wallow in self-pity or give up hope; instead he turns to God for strength and comfort (Psalm 38:9-15). Likewise, when things get tough for us Christians too should turn our eyes to Jesus for help (Hebrews 12:1-3). We need to remember that even if it doesn’t feel like it at times—even if life seems unfair or hard—God is ultimately sovereign over all situations and will use them for our good (Romans 8:28). As a result of these truths, we can find hope even during the most difficult times.
As Christians today we can look at Psalm 38 as both a warning against sin and a reminder of the power of prayer. Despite the fact that David was experiencing great suffering due to his own sins here in this psalm he still trusted in God’s provision. When faced with hardship ourselves then let’s follow his example and turn immediately towards Jesus for help! Let’s remember that no matter how bad things may seem right now nothing can ever separate us from His love — so come boldly before Him seeking His grace! Amen!