In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Have you ever been in such a difficult situation you thought you would not survive? Have you ever experienced suffering so great you thought it would consume you?
In today’s selected scripture, the psalmist describes a condition that many of us have experienced when he uses the word “anguish” which can be defined as excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain.
Most often “anguish” is temporary. Several years ago, I suffered a gall bladder attack. An emergency room nurse asked me to grade my pain level on a scale of 1 to 10. My response, “12!” A few days later my gall bladder was removed and I began to experience relief. You may have encountered temporary anguish with a tooth, food poisoning, or broken bone. (Been there…done that.) Although the pain is unbearable there is light at the end of the tunnel. You will ultimately get relief.
“Anguish” at its worst seemingly has no end. In the early days of my first pastorate, I was called upon to minister to a family in anguish. A young mother had lost her son and husband in a traffic mishap. In the years that followed, I witnessed numerous tragedies of many kinds that produced “anguish” in the lives of those affected. Suicides, untimely deaths, drug overdoses, divorces, job loss, debilitating diseases (to name a few) and all produced anguish so severe that those involved saw no way out.
Notice how the psalm writer responded to his anguish, “In my anguish I cried to the LORD.” From the depths of his suffering he called out to his only hope and petitioned God to rescue him from his peril.
His hope was based on a vital principle, “The LORD is with me.” Those words produce strength in the heart of the believer in the midst of crisis. If God is with you then you know that somehow you will make it. And if “The LORD is with me,” concludes the psalmist, then “I will not be afraid.”
There is no greater knowledge during the struggles of life than knowing that the Lord is with you. Those 5 words, “The LORD is with me” are a soothing balm like none other. No matter what you are going through or what you may face these words spoken in faith will always produce relief.
It may not look like it, or feel like it, but if you are a Christian then the Lord is always with you. The psalm writer then adds an additional thought that he puts in the form of a question. “What can man do to me?” He realized that he is on the winning team. The power of God is on his side and even though it may look like he is losing the battle, he will ultimately behold victory.
Whatever struggle is before you this day, you can be comforted and gain strength from these 5 powerful words, “The LORD is with me.” These words breathe hope into every challenge and crisis you may face.
In those lowest moments when you are too weak to hold on — just remember you don’t have to. God has you firmly in the grasp of His forever hands.
Remember those 5 powerful words for your every challenge. THE LORD IS WITH ME.
For more on this topic, check out this article: God Is Always There When You Need Him
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.