“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.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah
You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O Lord;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
But I, O Lord, cry to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
O Lord, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.”Psalm 88
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Perhaps you are experiencing the middle-of-the-school-year blues. The beginning of the school year is new and exciting. New students, new co-workers, new schedule, new material—not to forget those squeaky new whiteboard markers! The beginning of the school year is filled with so much excitement and energy. However, by the end of January, you may feel like the inner fire in you has been extinguished. The students have figured out just how to push your buttons. Your new co-workers have become frustrating. The markers have dried out. You’re just trying to make it to the end. Fake it till you make it, as they say.
Psalm 88 is a plea for a revival. The psalmist begins by saying how the Lord has already blessed His people. He returned to the people what had been lost in exile. He forgave their sins and showed them mercy. The psalmist knows that God is loving and merciful toward His people. However, he is feeling lost and burned out by the sinful, broken world, as if God has abandoned His people out of anger. However, the psalmist has faith that God is still present and provides His children with all their needs. Whether or not God gives them what they want, He is still loving and faithful.
The Lord is good when we feel the new and exciting just as He is good when we feel burnout. The devil is constantly crawling around looking to diminish your faith. He wants to tear you down so that you completely lose sight of the Gospel. All Christians go through the blues of weariness and disappointment.
God works through these struggles to bring us closer to Jesus and the cross. After we are crushed by the Law, Christ revives us with the Gospel. Christ revives us every time we receive Him at His table. He feeds us with His own body and blood so that we may be spiritually strengthened. We abundantly receive His forgiveness. His faithfulness to you was the same before the start of time and will remain constant for eternity. Christ is bigger than your blues. He overcame the devil and will forever strengthen you with His Word and Sacraments.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.