(Psalm 88:15-18) From my youth I have suffered and been close to death; I have borne your terrors and am in despair. Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me. All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me. You have taken from me friend and neighbor—darkness is my closest friend.
–> Suffering can go so deep and long that it impacts your thinking and emotions.
(Psalm 39:12-13) “Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were. Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again before I depart and am no more.”
–> Our expectations of who God is and how we might suffer can set us up for deeper troubles.
(Job 1:9-11) “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
–> There is no better place to learn about the grace of God than in darkness.
(2 Timothy 2:13) If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
–> Greatness and growth come from suffering.
(James 1:2-4) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
–> Jesus’ suffering and resurrection has significance for our own suffering.
(Matthew 27:46) About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).