Psalm 102: Lessons Regarding What Jesus Offers During a Crisis

Introduction: The author and setting of this psalm are not stated. But the author describes a time of intense personal and national suffering. Despite having no immediate end, the psalmist ultimately found hope in God’s promised restoration of “Zion” (Ps. 102:13), another name for Jerusalem (Is. 40:9). Thus, this psalm is likely set sometime between King Nebuchadnezzar II’s first deportation of the Jews in 607 B.C. and the decree ending Babylonian captivity in 538 B.C.1 By Jewish tradition, this psalm is read during times of community crisis.2 For Christians, this psalm is famous because Hebrews quotes from it to demonstrate Jesus’ supremacy over the angelic beings (Ps. 102:25-27; Heb. 1:10-12). Thus, for either an individual or a nation, this psalm reveals seven things that Jesus offers during a time of crisis. These include: (1) comfort, (2) healing, (3) fellowship, (4) faithfulness, (5) answered prayers, (6) deliverance, and (7) hope.

First, during a calamitous time in Jewish history, the psalmist cried out for God to hear and answer his prayers. During a crisis, Jesus also wants you to cry out and turn to Him for comfort. Second, the psalmist also cried out for healing because his body had withered from his prolonged suffering. During a crisis when your health suffers, Jesus also wants you to turn to Him for healing. Third, the psalmist further cried out that he was alone, and his enemies mocked him. He also attributed his suffering to God’s providence. God’s prophets warned that His discipline was coming if the Jews did not repent of their many sins. Sadly, they ignored these warnings. During a crisis, Jesus wants you to first turn to Him for forgiveness and then seek His fellowship. He also makes these offers to a nation suffering from the bondage of sin. Fourth, despite having no immediate end to his suffering, the psalmist found comfort in God’s faithfulness. During a crisis, Jesus also wants you to trust in His faithfulness to keep His Word. Fifth, the psalmist also found encouragement in God’s willingness to answer prayers. During a crisis, you can also find encouragement in the fact that Jesus answers prayers. Sixth, the psalmist further praised God for being faithful to deliver His people from oppression. During a crisis, Jesus also wants you to turn to Him for deliverance. Finally, although the psalmist felt broken, he found comfort in knowing that his eternal God had a plan for a greater plan for good. During a crisis, you can also place your hope in Jesus. He is eternal, sovereign, and He has a plan for a greater good.

1. Comfort: During a Crisis, Turn to Jesus for Comfort. Ps. 102:1-2.

  • Turn to Jesus when you suffer. At a time of intense long-term suffering, the psalmist cried out for God to hear his prayers and help him: “A Prayer of the afflicted when he is weak and pours out his complaint before the Lord. 1 Hear my prayer, Lord! And let my cry for help come to You. Do not hide Your face from me on the day of my distress; incline Your ear to me; on the day when I call answer me quickly.” (Ps. 102:1-2). “The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but here, is often elsewhere, the Holy Ghost has put words into our mouths. Here is a prayer put into the hands of the afflicted; let them present it to God. Even good men may be almost overwhelmed with afflictions. It is our duty and interest to pray; and it is comfort to an afflicted spirit to unburden itself, by a humble representation of its griefs.” (Matthew Henry on Ps. 102).3

Psalm 102 A prayer of an afflicted man (Listen to Dramatized or Read) - GNT - Uplifting Scriptures

Turn to Jesus when you need comfort4

  • Cry out to God when you are in distress. The psalms encourage believers to cry out and give their deepest burdens to God: “My God, I cry out by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest.” (Ps. 22:2). “Hear my prayer, LORD, and listen to my cry for help; do not be silent to my tears; for I am a stranger with You, one who lives abroad, like all my fathers.” (Ps. 39:12). “Hear my cry, God; give Your attention to my prayer. . . . Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink; may I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me nor the deep swallow me up, nor the pit shut its mouth on me. Answer me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good; according to the greatness of Your compassion, turn to me,” (Ps. 69:1, 14-16). “Incline Your ear, LORD, and answer me; for I am afflicted and needy.” (Ps. 86:1). “Lord, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You.  Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry!” (Ps. 88:1-2). “The cords of death encompassed me and the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: ‘O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”’ (Ps. 116:3-4). “Stretch forth Your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, out of the hand of aliens.” (Ps. 144:7). Elijah also cried out to God (1 Kgs. 17:20). When you are feeling sadness, it is not a sign of a lack of faith to cry out to God. Instead, it is a sign of faith to do so. He wants you to cry out to Him.

  • Pour out your heart to God during your trials. Crying out to God and pouring out your heart are not the same thing. Crying out involved seeking God’s help. Pouring out your heart involves confessing your burdens. God knows your burdens. But He wants you to lay out before Him your burdens, your questions, and your struggles of faith. As our example, David also poured out his heart when he could not understand the reasons for his trials: “A Psalm of David. How long, LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” (Ps. 13:1). “Why do You hide Your face and forget our affliction and oppression?” (Ps. 44:24). “LORD, why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me?” (Ps. 88:14). Job also complained that God would not answer his prayers: “I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me.” (Job 30:20). Habakkuk also cried out to God in his prayers (Habakkuk 1:2). Even Jesus cried out on the cross by quoting the psalms: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, Lemma Sabatini? that is, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”’ (Matt. 27:46; Ps. 22:1). Believers should be reverent to God by showing up to Church, praying, worshiping, and submitting to Him. But God also welcomes your private cries of pain and anguish to Him in your prayer life. He knows your needs before you state them, and there is no pain that you need to hide. If you are in need, pour your heart to God.

  • God promises that you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart. If you want to find God’s comforting presence, it requires that you seek Him with all your heart: “11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:11-13). In other words, you need to have the faith to both cry out to God and to pour out your heart to Him.

  • God is near to the brokenhearted and heals their wounds. What can believers say to someone who is broken where no easy answer exists? In most cases, trying to “solve” their problems is the wrong answer. That was the mistake that Job’s friends made. But you can find His comfort and encouragement. God promises that He is near when a person is broken and cries out to Him for comfort: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18). “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him?” (Dt. 4:7). “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, God, You will not despise.” (Ps. 51:17). Most importantly, in His perfect timing, He heals the broken person who turns to Him: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Ps. 147:3). Do you encourage the brokenhearted with God’s promises?

  • Jesus can relate to any pain you experience because He suffered for you. Jesus suffered for mankind and was tempted without sinning: “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” (Heb. 2:18). Through His suffering, Jesus can sympathize with your suffering: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15). There is no pain or burden that Jesus cannot relate to. Show your faith by giving your burdens to Him.

  • Encourage others the way God encourages you. God also wants you to be a source of encouragement to others. “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:13). “But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.” (Heb. 13:22). God is always there to comfort you when you turn to Him. Will you be available so that He can use the love inside you to comfort others?

  • Show the same compassion and comfort that God offers you to others. God offers you His comfort when you are feeling pain or sadness: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4; 7:6). God in turn asks you to be kind and compassionate toward others: “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience;” (Col. 3:12; Eph. 4:32). When someone around you is hurting, offer them the same compassion and comfort that God offers you.

2. Healing: During a Crisis, Turn to Jesus for Healing. Ps. 102:3-5.

  • When you are in poor health, turn to God for healing. The psalmist was near death. Thus, he cried to God for healing: “For my days have ended in smoke, and my bones have been scorched like a hearth. My heart has been struck like grass and has withered, indeed, I forget to eat my bread. Because of the loudness of my groaning My bones cling to my flesh.” (Ps. 102:3-5). The psalmist’s body had deteriorated like Job’s body (Job 2:7, 19:20; 30:30; 33:21). “He became emaciated with sorrow. He had groaned himself down to a living skeleton, and so in his bodily appearance was the more like the smoke-dried, withered, burnt-up things to which he had previously compared himself. It will be a very long time before the distresses of the church of God make some Christians shrivel into anatomies, but this good man was so moved with sympathy for Zion’s ills that he was wasted down to skin and bone.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 102).5

Healing Scriptures – Old Testament – Your Faith Has Made You Whole

Turn to Jesus when you need healing6

  • With faith, Jesus can restore your lost health. Isaiah revealed that our Messiah would be crushed for our sins. Through the promised suffering of our Messiah, believers can also be healed: “But He was pierced for our offenses, He was crushed for our wrongdoings; the punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Is. 53:5). Just as Isaiah foretold, Jesus suffered for our sins (2 Pet. 2:16). Despite suffering even worse afflictions than David, Job professed God’s power to heal: “For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.” (Job 5:8). Satan could only touch his health with God’s permission (Job 2:6). Depending upon His greater plans for good (Ro. 8:28), God can either place a hedge of protection around your health, remove it, or restore it. Unless God has another reason for your suffering, He promises to pour out His blessings on you when you live in faith-led obedience (Dt. 28:1-2). This can include His promise to protect you from diseases and poor health: “And He said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.’” (Ex. 15:26; Dt. 7:15). ‘“See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.”’ (Dt. 32:39). “ . . . the LORD binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted.” (Is. 30:26). “For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.” (Job 5:8). “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Ps. 147:3). “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” (Ps. 107:20). When you are sick, God wants your prayers for the restoration of your health and trust in His timing.

  • All things are possible with God when you have faith.  God has the power to heal any illness if you have faith and if it is part of His will: “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?”  (Gen. 18:14(a)).  “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”  (Jer. 32:27).  “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”  (Job 42:2).  “‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’  (Matt. 19:26(b); Mk. 10:27(b); Lk. 1:37).  “What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?”  (Ro. 8:31).  God also wants you to turn to Him in faith when your health is failing.  His miracles happen every day.

  • Cry out to God when you need deliverance from an illness or disease.  Some think that a true person of faith should stoically accept bad news.  But Hezekiah showed that he was a man of faith because he cried out to God for healing.  David also cried out for God when he needed healing:  “O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.”  (Ps. 30:2).  “Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayed.”  (Ps. 6:2).  “As for me, I said, ‘O LORD, be gracious to me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”’  (Ps. 41:4).  Moses also cried out for God to heal his sister Miriam from her leprosy:  “Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, ‘O God, heal her, I pray!”’ (Nu. 12:13).  Have you cried out to God if you need healing?

  • Praise God when He does heal you. Whenever God did heal him, David praised God and gave Him the full credit: “LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.” (Ps. 30:2). “Who pardons all your guilt, who heals all your diseases;” (Ps. 103:3). “He sent His word and healed them, and saved them from their destruction.” (Ps. 107:20). “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Ps. 73:26). If God has healed you of an illness, are you giving Him the praise?

3. Fellowship: During a Crisis, Turn to Jesus for Forgiveness and Fellowship. Ps. 102:6-11.

  • Turn to God when you feel rejected and despised. The psalmist felt alone and under attack from his enemies. He believed that God had allowed for his suffering, possibly because of the Judah’s sins: “I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the ruins. I lie awake, I have become like a solitary bird on a housetop. My enemies have taunted me all day long; those who deride me have used my name as a curse. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mixed my drink with weeping 10 because of Your indignation and Your wrath; for You have lifted me up and thrown me away. 11 My days are like a lengthened shadow, and I wither away like grass.” (Ps. 102:6-11). “He compares himself to solitude-loving birds which haunt desolate places and ruins, uttering weird and mournful cries. Cp. Isaiah 34:11Zephaniah 2:14 (A.V. cormorant). (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Ps. 102:6).7 When you feel alone and rejected, don’t blame God. Instead, if you have sinned, first repent of your sins and believe in Jesus’ forgiveness. Jesus then wants you to turn to Him for fellowship.

  • Have faith in Jesus’ promises to forgive you or a nation that repents. The psalmist did not have the assurances of the New Testament. It is also not clear if he believed that his circumstance was the result of his personal sin. But the prophets Jeremiah, Isaiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Micah had all preached warnings of God’s judgment and the need for the Jews to repent.  In case any Jews felt that God was remiss in failing to stop Nebuchadnezzar II, the prophet Jeremiah warned the people in advance that God planned to send Nebuchadnezzar II as His instrument of judgment:  ‘“behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations roundabout; and I will utterly destroy them and make them a horror and a hissing, and an everlasting desolation.”’  (Jer. 25:9)  “and say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them.”’’  (Jer. 43:10).  But the Jews ignored these warnings. If you have sinned, repent and trust in Jesus’ forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). God also promises to heal any nation that humbles itself and repents: “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chr. 7:14). Are you and your church praying for national repentance?

  • Cry out to Jesus when you feel alone and ridiculed. When you repent, you free yourself of any condemnation before God. But God-fearing people may still experience feelings of isolation and rejection. For example, David frequently cried out when his friends or enemies scorned and rejected him: “All who see me deride me; they sneer, they shake their heads,” (Ps. 22:7). “Because of all my adversaries, I have become a disgrace, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.” (Ps. 31:11). “I also have become a disgrace to them; when they see me, they shake their head.” (Ps. 109:25). “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” (Ps. 41:9). When you repent and others still scorn you, turn to God for comfort and protection.

  • Job also lost the respect of everyone around him. Even though he did not commit a serious sin, Job was also alone and despised. Satan first turned his wife against him (Job 2:9; 19:17a). Satan then turned all of Job’s friends against him: “I am a joke to my friends, . . .” (Job 12:4a). “My friends are my scoffers; . . .” (Job 16:20a; 19:9,13-14, 19). “Mockers are certainly with me, and my eye gazes on their provocation.” (Job 17:2). They loathe me and stand aloof from me, and they do not refrain from spitting in my face.” (Job 30:10). Even children mocked him: Even young children despise me; I stand up and they speak against me.” (Job 19:18). In a patriarchal society, it was a great dishonor for children to reject a patriarch like Job. But Job did not realize that God would never abandon him (Dt. 31:6). When others have rejected you, cry out to Jesus.

  • Jesus was also humiliated so that you could find His fellowship. Although He was without sin, Jesus bore our shame. For example, Jesus was mocked before He healed a girl that everyone concluded was dead (Matt. 9:24; Mk. 5:40). The Roman soldiers also mocked Him when they beat Him (Matt. 27:29), and the chief priests mocked Him as well (Matt. 27:41). “Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,”’ (Mk. 15:29). “Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,” (Matt. 26:67). “They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.” (Matt. 27:30). “And those passing by were speaking abusively to Him, shaking their heads,” (Matt. 27:39). Jesus suffered without deserving it so that you might be saved. He also suffered so that you would know that He understands your pain.

  • When others reject you, Jesus offers you His fellowship. When you feel alone, rejected, or isolated, your faith brings you the blessing of Jesus’ fellowship: “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:9). Merely accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is not enough to be in fellowship with Him. You must accept Jesus’ invitation for a deeper relationship: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20). If you feel lonely, are you accepting Jesus’ invitation for a deeper relationship and true fellowship with Him?

  • When others reject you, Jesus offers you His love. When the world turns against you, know that Jesus loves you so much that He suffered and died on the cross for you: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16; 2 Cor. 1:3-4). “But God, who comforts the discouraged, comforted us by the arrival of Titus;” (2 Cor. 7:6). “I, I Myself, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of mortal man, and of a son of man who is made like grass,” (Is. 51:12). When you feel unloved, turn to Jesus.

4. Faithfulness: During a Crisis, Trust in Jesus’ Faithfulness. Ps. 102:12-15.

  • Trust in God’s faithfulness. Despite his sorrows, the psalmist found hope in God: “12 But You, Lord, remain forever, and Your name remains to all generations. 13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion; for it is time to be gracious to her, for the appointed time has come. 14 Surely Your servants take pleasure in her stones, and feel pity for her dust. 15 So the nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth, Your glory.” (Ps. 102:12-15). “The intense anxiety felt by the author of Ps. 102 was like a fog that burned away under the blazing sun of the certainty of God’s everlasting reign and unstoppable promises. His thoughts of his own suffering dominated his attention in the first half of the psalm (102:1-11 [MT 102:1-12]), and then came to a turning point when his attention was redirected to God, enthroned forever, and His promise to remake all things right (102:12-28 [MT 102:13-29]).” (James Hamilton on Ps. 102).8 God would respond out of faithfulness, compassion, and so that the nations would see His glory.

  • Trust in Jesus because He is eternal, sovereign, and faithful.  The psalmist proclaimed: “Lord, remain forever,” (Ps. 102:12). Moses also proclaimed: “The LORD shall reign forever and ever.”  (Ex. 15:18).  David repeated this praise:  “But the LORD sits as King forever; He has established His throne for judgment,” (Ps. 9:7). “The LORD is King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land.” (Ps. 10:6). “The LORD sat as King at the flood; yes, the LORD sits as King forever.”  (Ps. 29:10). “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.  The LORD is faithful in His words, and holy in all His works.”  (Ps. 145:13). The King of Kings who will reign forever is Jesus Christ:  “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”’  (Rev. 11:15).  You can praise Jesus because He guarantees a future eternity where you can dwell securely without the threats of evil, suffering, and sorrow.

  • God’s faithfulness to you comes from His holiness and love for you. The psalmist also declared: “compassion on Zion;” (Ps. 102:13). The prophet Isaiah also promised that God would be faithful to restore Israel out of compassion: “When the LORD has compassion on Jacob and again chooses Israel, and settles them on their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.” (Is. 14:1). Jesus also loves you (Jo. 3:16). He will also show you love and compassion (2 Cor. 1:4).

  • Place your trust in God to keep His promises.  The psalmist trusted God to keep His promises to restore “Zion” (Ps. 102:13), another name for Jerusalem (Is. 40:9). “The ‘Zion,’ on which he would ‘have mercy,’ was not the city only, but the people belonging to it. For the time to favor her (or, pity her), yea, the set time, is come. By ‘the set time’ is probably meant the time fixed by Jeremiah for the termination of the Captivity and the restoration of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 25:11, 12Jeremiah 29:10), and alluded to by Daniel in Daniel 9:2. This time, the psalmist says, approaches.” (Pulpit Commentary on Ps. 102:13).9 David and other psalmists repeatedly praised God for His faithfulness: “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His faithfulness is everlasting.”  (1 Chr. 16:34). “It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, Most High; to declare Your goodness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night, . . .”  (Ps. 92:104; Ps. 150:3-6).  Does your devotion to God include heartfelt worship and praise?

  • Be patient for God’s timing.  From his many trials, David learned to patiently wait on God’s timing:  “A Psalm of David.  I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.”  (Ps. 40:1).  “Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.”  (Ps. 27:14; 25:3, 21).  Even in the face of trials, Paul also encourages believers that your faith should include “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,”  (Ro. 12:12).  Evil may at times appear to prevail.  But any victory that Satan wins is temporary.  God wants you to have faith in His timing.

5. Answered Prayers: During a Crisis, Turn to Jesus to Have Your Prayers Answered. Ps. 102:16-17.

  • God hears and answers your prayers according to His will. The psalmist also praised God for hearing his people’s prayers: “16 For the Lord has built up Zion; He has appeared in His glory. 17 He has turned His attention to the prayer of the destitute and has not despised their prayer.” (Ps. 102:16-17). Through Jeremiah, God declared that He will answer your prayers when you call upon Him: “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jer. 33:3).

Bible: Psalm 102 - Prayables

Give thanks that Jesus will hear your prayers when you cry out to Him10

  • Thank God when He answers your prayers. David also made a habit of thanking God when He answered David’s prayers: “I was crying out to the LORD with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain.  Selah”  (Ps. 3:4).  “But know that the LORD has set apart the godly person for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him.”  (Ps. 4:3).  “Leave me, all you who practice injustice, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.”  (Ps. 6:8).  “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.”  (Ps. 18:6).  “Blessed be the LORD, because He has heard the sound of my pleading.”  (Ps. 28:6). Thus, David always praised God:  “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His faithfulness is everlasting.”  (1 Chr. 16:34).  If you fail to make a habit of thanking Him, you may take Him for granted.  Even in times when he was jailed and persecuted, Paul worshiped God and gave thanks: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;”  (Eph. 5:20). Are you thanking God for the prayers that He has already answered and the future ones?

  • The effective fervent prayer of the righteous can accomplish great things.  Once you confess your sins to Jesus, God promises that those who pray fervently and in faith can accomplish much:  “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”  (Ja. 5:16).  As an example of this, God heard Elijah’s prayers to both stop and later restart the rain in Israel:  “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.  Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.”  (Ja. 5:17-18).  As another example, Nehemiah prayed continually for God to see and hear the prayers of His sinful people:  ‘“let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants,”’  (Neh. 1:6 ).  God also wants you to pray fervently to Him to intervene when you need deliverance.

6. Deliverance: During a Crisis, Turn to Jesus for Deliverance. Ps. 102:18-22.

  • Turn to God when you need deliverance. The psalmist further praised God for being faithful and loving to deliver His people from oppression: “18 This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord: 19 For He looked down from His holy height; from heaven the Lord looked upon the earth, 20 to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to set free those who were doomed to death, 21 so that people may tell of the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem, 22 when the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.” (Ps. 102:18-22). “The psalmist pictured God bending down low from heaven: · To see (viewed the earth). · To hear (the groaning of the prisoner). · To act (to release those appointed to death). · To proclaim (the name of the LORD in Zion). · To gather (when the peoples are gathered together). · To receive service (peoples are gathered…to serve the LORD). (David Guzik on Ps. 102) (emphasis in original).11

  • Jesus can also deliver you.  When you do suffer, Jesus wants you to turn to Him for deliverance.  For example, Moses faced a Pharaoh with an arrogance and disdain for Yahweh, Moses advised that he would live to see Yahweh’s power (Ex. 8:10). Approximately 80 years later, Moses told the Jews that God allowed them to witness His many miracles in the wilderness so that they would know that He is unique and unlike any other (Dt. 4:35).  David also proclaimed God’s unique power (2 Sam. 7:22).  With faith in God, even the impossible is possible:  “And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’  (Matt. 19:26; Mk. 10:27).  When you have faith, Jesus can deliver you from any enemy or trial that you may face.  For this reason, He deserves your praise: “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of my salvation,”  (Ps. 18:46).  “The LORD is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed.”  (Ps. 28:8).  When you are going through a trial, are you crying out for His deliverance?

7. Hope: During a Crisis, Place Your Hope in Jesus. Ps. 102:23-28.

  • Find hope in God when you face a trial. Finally, the psalmist knew that, even if God had a plan in his suffering, the God of eternity had a greater plan for good: “23 He has broken my strength in the way; He has shortened my days. 24 I say, ‘My God, do not take me away in the middle of my days, Your years are throughout all generations. 25 In time of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 Even they will perish, but You endure; all of them will wear out like a garment; like clothing You will change them and they will pass away. 27 But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end. 28 The children of Your servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before You.”’ (Ps. 102:23-28). These praises pointed to Jesus. He is the Creator, who created the universe long ago out of His love for mankind. “for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Col. 1:16; Gen. 1:1). “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.” (Jo. 1:3).

  • Place your hope in Jesus, the Creator of the universe who reigns supreme. Centuries later, the author of the book of Hebrews quoted from Psalm 102:25-27 to reveal that these words were about Jesus. Jesus created the universe long ago. But He will reign supreme long after it is gone: “And, ‘You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they all will wear out like a garment, and like a robe You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.” (Heb. 1:10-12). The author of Hebrews than quoted from Psalm 110:1 to make the point that Jesus is superior to all angelic beings, including Satan: “But to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet’?” (Heb. 1:13; Ps. 110:1). Jesus made clear that He will remain faithful to keep His promises, even after the universe comes to a physical end: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matt. 24:35; Lk. 21:33).

What Does Psalm 102:25 Mean?

Jesus’ faithfulness will endure long after the universe He created comes to and end12

  • Put your hope in Jesus’ greater plans for you. God does not promise you a life without suffering. But any suffering you face will be part of His greater plan for good: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 2:28). “The expository idea that ties this psalm together may be worded as follows: Those who love and serve the eternal LORD know that He will not forsake them in times of grave physical danger because He desires to be with them and in His compassion will deliver them from death . . . Just as the psalmist was convinced of a glorious future for himself and generations to come when God delivered His people, so too do we know that when the Lord delivers us all from the suffering and death of this world will we join the rest of God’s people in singing praises to Him in glory.” (Allen Ross on Ps. 101) (italics in original).13

  • Turn to God in your hour of need. Like the psalmist, Job also felt as though he was about to die because of his ongoing trial: “My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished, the grave is ready for me.” (Job 17:1). David also cried out when he felt that death was near: “The ropes of death encompassed me, and the torrents of destruction terrified me. The ropes of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.” (Ps. 18:4-5). Other psalms record similar laments: “My heart is in anguish within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.” (Ps. 55:4). “The snares of death encompassed me and the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow.” (Ps. 116:3). When you feel your life is coming to an end, God also wants you to turn to Him to find eternal hope.

  • God will never abandon you. The psalmist felt that God had allowed him to suffer. Other psalms contain similar laments: “I am forgotten like a dead person, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.” (Ps. 31:12). The psalmist also felt that God had placed him in his condition: “You have put me in the lowest pit, . . .” (Ps. 88:6). Other Bible authors expressed similar laments: “He has made me live in dark places, like those who have long been dead.” (Lam 3:6). “For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead.” (Ps. 143:3). If you ever feel overwhelmed, you can trust that God will never leave you or forsake you: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the LORD your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.” (Dt. 31:6; Heb. 13:5).

  • Let Jesus be your hope in your darkest hour. When you feel despair, you can turn to Jesus. He is the anchor of hope during any trial: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil,” (Heb. 6:19). “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Ps. 39:7). “For You are my hope; Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.” (Ps. 71:5). “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD.” (Jer. 17:7). If your health is failing or if you are under attack, put your hope in Jesus and His eternal promises.

  • Jesus offers you the hope of eternal life.  Jesus does not want any to perish (2 Pet. 3:9).  He instead offers the hope of eternal life in heaven:  “but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”  (2 Tim. 1:10).  “to those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life;”  (Ro. 2:7). “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,”  (Ro. 12:12). “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.”  (Heb. 10:36).  Thus, you have many reasons to praise Jesus.

  • God puts you through trials so that you may turn to Him. After the Jews had escaped from Egypt, Moses explained that God frequently tests His people: “for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” (Ex. 20:20(b); Dt. 8:2). David also warned that even the righteous are not beyond God’s testing: “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked . . .” (Ps. 11:5). “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, . . .” (Jer. 17:10). God’s testing and discipline are done out of love (Heb. 12:6). When you are tested, you may find that your heart has hidden anger, lust, or covetousness. When God exposes wickedness, He expects you to repent of it: “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). David invited God’s testing to show him where he needed to change (Ps. 139:23). Your trials produce perseverance and endurance: “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;” (Ro. 5:3). “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (Jam. 1:2-3). Paul faced a similar trial when he faced death in Asia. He advised that God put him through trials so that he would rely upon Him and not his own strength: (2 Cor. 1:8-10). God uses trials to prepare you for even greater conflicts to come. Are you turning to Jesus to build up your faith and deliver you during your trials?

  1. James M. Hamilton Jr., Evangelical Bible Theology Commentary Psalms (Vol. II: Psalms 73-150) (Lexham Academic 2021) p. 221-22.↩︎

  2. Allen Ross, A Commentary of the Psalms: Volume 3 (90-150), Kregel Academic (2016) p. 223-24.↩︎