There is a big cultural conversation going on about mental health. This is important as it would seem that many in society are experiencing emotional darkness, depression and deep fear about the future. There is so much advice and many strategies being promoted to tackle it. We live in a "fix it" culture.
Does the Bible give a distinctive message that gives real hope in the darkness? Does trusting God help when the darkness is deep and unrelieved, even with all the cultural strategies? Psalm 88 is a sad prayer offered daily to the God that holds out so much hope in all this.
The Psalmist shows how a believing person can know God in the dark and find strength to live on. The Psalmist is not superficial and his faith is a humble courageous one in the God who is there but not seen.
This is a good model for believers to follow when the darkness is thick with overwhelming power. The Psalmist learns to live on truth not feelings.
The Psalm changes our perspective by showing how much God understands about the darkness in life. The teaching ends by underlining that our emotional darkness is not absolute.
We move forward in time to Jesus Christ who as a believing Man entered the eternal darkness of God's justice for sin so we do not have to. Indeed, as Jesus now lives in eternal light, so as believers we have entered that light now and will live in it forever when Christ returns. The darkness is banished and the full light is experienced. This truth must enter the mental health conversation as good news for despairing humanity and distressed believers.
Visiting preacher Maurice Kinnaird opened up this Psalm at Cornerstone on Sunday 30th May 2021, you can listen here or watch below.