Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.
Tears blur my eyes.
My body and soul are withering away.
I am dying from grief;
my years are shortened by sadness.
Sin has drained my strength;
I am wasting away from within.
I am scorned by all my enemies
and despised by my neighbors—
even my friends are afraid to come near me.
When they see me on the street,
they run the other way.
I am ignored as if I were dead,
as if I were a broken pot.
I have heard the many rumors about me,
and I am surrounded by terror.
My enemies conspire against me,
plotting to take my life.
But I am trusting you, O Lord,
saying, “You are my God!” (NLT)
Faith doesn’t come easily. Most of us, when in distress, don’t immediately feel a surge of faith which instantly cancels out the distress. Most of us are a bit like the Psalmist who expresses his despondency honestly and yet finally comes through to faith.
Our faith is meant to strengthen through the hard times rather than the easy times. Faith is not therefore an easy concept or simple word. Faith comes out of struggle, not ease. Faith is for the hard times not the comfortable times.
The fact that we struggle and are occasionally distressed doesn’t mean we lack faith. It simply means that this is the context in which faith grows and becomes a living reality. When the Bible says we walk by faith rather than sight, it implies that faith coexists with some confusion or uncertainty.
We need faith because something has happened which may cause us to stumble. We need faith because we lack absolute knowledge. We need faith because there are dangers present.
The Psalmist often arrives at faith after wrestling with doubt and distress. If it happened so often to him, we can bank on it happening to us.