In just six months, Gerald’s life fell apart. An economic crisis destroyed his business and wealth, while a tragic accident took his son’s life. Overcome by shock, his mother had a heart attack and died, his wife went into depression, and his two young daughters remained inconsolable. All he could do was echo the words of the psalmist, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1).
The only thing that kept Gerald going was the hope that God, who raised Jesus to life, would one day deliver him and his family from their pain to an eternal life of joy. It was a hope that God would answer his desperate cries for help. In his despair, like the psalmist David, he determined to trust God in the midst of his suffering. He held on to the hope that God would deliver and save him (vv. 4–5).
That hope sustained Gerald. Over the years, whenever he was asked how he was, he could only say, “Well, I’m trusting God.”
God honored that trust, giving Gerald the comfort, strength, and courage to keep going through the years. His family slowly recovered from the crisis, and soon Gerald welcomed the birth of his first grandchild. His cry is now a testimony of God’s faithfulness. “I’m no longer asking, ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ God has blessed me.”
When it seems there’s nothing left, there’s still hope.
What will help you to remember and cling to God’s sure and certain hope of deliverance? How has trusting in God sustained you in a difficult challenge?
Psalm 22 is a song of lament in which David pours out his heart to God during a time of great heartache and struggle. Yet in his pain David’s words anticipated the cosmic struggle of Jesus on the cross. Christ claimed the opening words of Psalm 22 during His own suffering (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34), but that’s only the beginning of the song’s anticipations of the cross. The mockery David experienced (Psalm 22:8) looks ahead to the words that targeted Jesus (Matthew 27:39–44). David spoke poetically of piercings (Psalm 22:16), which Jesus experienced literally through the nails of crucifixion (Luke 24:39–40). And the sadness of oppressors’ gambling for David’s garments (Psalm 22:18) finds echoes in the soldiers at the foot of the cross gambling for Jesus’s seamless robe (Matthew 27:35). The Holy Spirit utilized the poetry of an Old Testament psalm to prepare the way for the experience of Christ in His passion.