How I Gleaned Hope from the Darkest Psalm

Christina Fox | February 4, 2017


After a recent talk I gave, an attendee shared that Psalm 88 was her favorite psalm. For those of us familiar with it, we might hear such a comment and raise our eyebrows in confusion.

Psalm 88? Really?

Psalm 88 isn’t a feel-good, everything-will-be-all-right kind of psalm. In fact, it’s the darkest one. If we put it to music, it’d be set to the tune of a sad country song—if not a funeral dirge. Hear the despair of the psalmist’s words:

O LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. (vv. 1–3)

Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. (v. 7)

O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? (v. 14)

While other biblical laments end on a note of trust and worship, this one ends without any light or hope. It simply concludes, “Darkness is my closest friend.” The end.

Despite the dark tone, however, there is hope to be found in Psalm 88. Here are four reasons.

1. You can cry


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