Even from depths, there is reason to hope

Published 5:34 pm Thursday, October 29, 2015

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!”  This is a place we all know. You’ve probably been there at some point in your life — some crisis, death of a loved one, loss of a job, a personal relationship torn apart or rejection by someone you cared for. It may be a place you are right now. 

It is a place when you might feel the most apart from God, where God seems absent but also the place where you need God the most. We’ve often seen it in the Bible: Job sitting on his ashes, his life in crumbles around him, and Jesus on the cross, despised and rejected. Out of the depths He cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

The Bible knows that place, and you know that place. And the psalmist realizes at such a place we have permission to cry out to God from our deepest places of grief, anger, fear and frustration.

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As Christians, as believers in God, we expect something in response to that cry. “Lord hear my voice!”

Making that cry is actually evidence of our faith that in the midst of hardship, hurt and loss, God is present there and can and will do something about our predicament.

But we know at our most basic core that there is something else that needs to be taken care of. Our sins separate us from God. Indeed, they may be the cause of our predicament. 

“Oh if you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, if you kept a ledger of all our sins, who could stand?” The wonderful thing is that there is forgiveness with God, and we can trust that. And so we wait.

“My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning.” When we wait, we live expectantly, with awareness of how God has acted in the past and with anticipation of what God is about to do. Waiting is the opposite of despair and hopelessness.

We wait from that place, out of the depths, expecting help, expecting release because we know God in Jesus Christ, who when faced with suffering, did something about it — healing, forgiving and loving. 

“So we have reason to hope.” We hope that God will do something about our predicament. Christ on the cross cried out of the depths, and we know because of that cross we can be redeemed and forgiven. When we are in that awful place, we can cry out of the depths expecting relief.

DALE BROWN is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian churches. His email is dalembesq@aol.com.