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- Tell God about Your Problems
- Ask God for Help
- Praise and Rejoice in God
- Epilogue: God Does Respond to Suffering
Prayer is probably the most prominent positive response to hard times. The Bible shows us a great deal about praying to God in such times. The psalms in particular contain a number of prayers of people faced with great difficulties and suffering, from which we can learn much.
[David, to God:] Do not remain far away from me, for trouble is near and I have no one to help me. … 14My strength drains away like water; all my bones are dislocated; my heart is like wax; it melts away inside me. Psalms 22:11, 14 NET
[David, to God:] Turn to me and have mercy on me, because I am lonely and hurting. 17My troubles have grown larger; free me from my problems. 18Look at my suffering and troubles, and take away all my sins. 19Look at how many enemies I have! See how much they hate me! Psalms 25:16-19 NCV™
To pour out your heart to God involves telling God about all your concerns and feelings. In a sense it is to empty your heart of all its troubles, laying them out before God.
[David:] O God, because of your great loyal love, answer me with your faithful deliverance! 14Rescue me from the mud! Don’t let me sink! Deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep water! Psalms 69:13b-14 NET
He [Jehoshaphat] met with the people and appointed musicians to play before the Lord and praise his majestic splendor. As they marched ahead of the warriors they said: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his loyal love endures.” 22When they began to shout and praise, the Lord suddenly attacked the Ammonites, Moabites, and men from Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 NET
[Habakkuk:] Even though the fig tree does not blossom, and there are no grapes on the vines; even if the olive harvest fails, and the fields produce nothing edible; even if the flock is snatched from the sheepfold, and there is no herd in the stalls— 18as for me, I will rejoice in the Lord. I will find my joy in the God of my deliverance. Habakkuk 3:17-18 ISV
[Paul, to believers:] Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NET