Introduction: Psalm 22 is amongst the greatest Psalms. David’s words foreshadowed Jesus’ suffering at His Crucifixion. Through this psalm, God also reveals seven lesson for enduring your trials. When you face a trial, you can respond with: (1) trust in God, (2) seeking His comfort, (3) His protection, (4) praising Him, (5) perseverance, (6) worship, and (7) evangelism.
First, in a time of great anguish, David cried out to God that he felt forsaken. This foreshadowed Jesus’ final words on the cross. David trusted in God during his trial, and so did Jesus. When you suffer during a trial, trust in Jesus’ greater plan. Second, David was scorned and rejected. This also foreshadowed Jesus. He was also scorned and rejected. David turned to God during his rejection. Jesus likewise turned to God the Father. When you suffer during a trial, you can also turn to Jesus for His comfort. Third, David cried out to God because his enemies attacked him and pierced him. This again foreshadowed Jesus. He was attacked and pierced for our transgressions. When you are attacked, Jesus wants you to turn to Him for protection. Fourth, David responded to his trials by praising God. Jesus also responded to His trial with praise for God the Father’s holy name. When you suffer during a trial, turn to Jesus and praise Him because He suffered for you. Fifth, David persevered during his trial, and so did Jesus. When you suffer during a trial, God will bless you if you persevere. Sixth, David also responded to his trials by worshiping God. When you suffer during a trial, turn to Jesus and worship Him. Finally, after surviving his trial, David promising to praise God’s righteousness to others. When you survive a trial, you can also help others who suffer by helping them to turn to Jesus.
David cried out in his anguish but still trusted in God. During one of his many trials when others turned against David, he cried out in sorrow to God. He found comfort by trusting God, even when he felt abandoned and the reasons for his pain were unknown: “A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise. For the music director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. 1 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my ]help are the words of my ]groaning. 2 My God, I cry out by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest. 3 Yet You are holy, You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. 4 In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and You rescued them. 5 To You they cried out and they fled to safety; in You they trusted and were not disappointed.” (Ps. 22:1-5). David’s suffering pointed to Jesus’ suffering on the cross.
David’s lament prophetically pointed to some of Jesus’ final words. David cried out “1 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Ps. 22:1). In His agony, Jesus quoted from David’s Psalm 22 just before His death on the cross: “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; Mk. 15:34). Jesus also revealed that every one of His final actions confirmed things that David and others wrote about Him as prophesies: “Now He took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all the things that have been written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished.”’ (Lk. 18:31). In a single moment, Jesus took upon Himself the pain that every person who rejects God will experience in the final judgment: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21). “Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the plunder with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was counted with wrongdoers; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the wrongdoers.” (Is. 53:12). Thus, He is worthy of your praise.
Pour out your heart to God and put your trust in Him during your trials. David frequently poured out his heart when he could not understand the reasons for a trial or when he could not feel God’s presence: “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 stand far away, LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10:1). “Why do You hide Your face and forget our affliction and oppression?” (Ps. 44:24). “For the music director; on stringed instruments. A Maskil of David. Listen to my prayer, God; and do not hide Yourself from my pleading.” (Ps. 55:1). “LORD, why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me?” (Ps. 88:14). Like David, Job also cried out to God during his trials. Some of his complaints might even be labeled as sinful today. He cursed the day of his birth (Job 3:1-26). He complained that there was no divine justice “Behold, I cry, ‘Violence!’ but I get no answer; I shout for help, but there is no justice.” (Job 19:7). He 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). The cries of these great heroes of the faith show that it is not a sign of weakness when you cry out to God. It is instead a sign of your faith and trust in God.
Trust God, even when the reasons for your trial are unclear. Although David felt alone, he responded by praising God: “Yet You are holy, You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.” (Ps. 22:3). He then proclaimed how “our fathers trusted; they trusted and You rescued them. 5 To You they cried out and they fled to safety; in You they trusted and were not disappointed.” (Ps. 22:4-5). Jesus also trusted in God the Father when He was willingly led to die at the cross. God wants you to trust Him, even if the reason for His test does not seem clear at the time: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Prov. 3:5-7; 28:26; Ps. 62:8). “Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” (Is. 26:4). When you are tested, God wants you to turn to His Word and the Holy Spirit to guide your every step and your every decision (Jo. 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7, 13; Ps. 119:105). If you only trust God when you have a full understanding, your faith is weak. Do you trust God when the reason for your suffering is a mystery or even when you have been wrongfully accused?
A faith that is never tested cannot be trusted. The Bible is clear that God cannot and will never “tempt” you. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.’” (Jam. 1:13). Only the devil tempts. His temptations use your flesh to bring you down. “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.” (Jam. 1:14). Although God never tempts, He will “test” your faith (Jer. 17:10; 20:12). His tests are designed to build up your faith. He tests you to show you where your heart is evil so that you can correct it (Jer. 17:9). If He never tested you, you would go into spiritual warfare never knowing if you were ready. It would be like sending an army into battle without any training. Or, it would be like sending a passenger plane into the sky with passengers, yet without ever having tested either the plane or the pilot first. Your faith would be untrustworthy. By testing you, He seeks to build and perfect your faith. Are you inviting God to test you to show you both your weaknesses and to build up your faith?
David was scorned and rejected, but found comfort in God. When everyone around him treated him with scorn and contempt, David knew he could still find comfort in God: “6 But I am a worm and not a person, a disgrace of mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me deride me; they sneer, they shake their heads, saying, 8 ‘turn him over to the Lord; let Him save him; let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.’ 9 Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. 10 I was cast upon You from birth; You have been my God from my mother’s womb. 11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near; for there is no one to help.” (Ps. 22:6-11). David’s scorn and rejection again directly foreshadowed Jesus at His death.
David’s disgrace and shame foreshadowed the disgrace and shame that was cast on Jesus. On many occasions, David complained that people around him despised him (Ps. 22:6-7). “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). “Those who sit in the gate talk about me, and songs of mockery by those habitually drunk are about me. . . You know my disgrace, my shame, and my dishonor; all my enemies are known to You.” (Ps. 69:12, 19). “You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out.” (Ps. 88:8). “I also have become a disgrace to them; when they see me, they shake their head.” (Ps. 109:25). “I am small and despised, . . .” (Ps. 119:141). David also felt isolated when his friends and acquaintances turned against him: “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” (Ps. 41:9). “You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out.” (Ps. 88:8). David had become like a lowly “worm” (Ps. 22:6). This foreshadowed Jesus: “He felt himself to be comparable to a helpless, powerless, down-trodden worm, passive while crushed, and unnoticed and despised by those who trod upon him. He selects the weakest of creatures, which is all flesh; and becomes, when trodden upon, writhing, quivering flesh, utterly devoid of any might except strength to suffer. This was a true likeness of himself when his body and soul had become a mass of misery-the very essence of agony-in the dying pangs of crucifixion.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 22). Jesus experienced shame so that you could know that you can cast your anxiety on Him: “having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.” (1 Pet. 5:7).
Job also lost the respect of everyone around him. Like David, Job also became the subject of ridicule. Satan turned Job’s wife against him (Job 2:9l 19:17a). Satan also turned all of Job’s friends and relatives against him (Job 12:4a; 16:20a; 19:9,13-14, 19; 30:10). Even children feared him with his open sores across his body (Job 19:18); cf., “I have become a laughingstock to all my people, their song of ridicule all the day.” (Lam. 3:14). Sometimes, innocent people are privileged to suffer for God’s greater purpose (Ro. 8:28). Thus, you should not assume that your suffering is God’s punishment.
Like David, Jesus’ enemies also mocked Him for His trust in God the Father. David’s enemies taunted him for his trust in God “‘turn him over to the Lord; let Him save him; let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.’” (Ps. 26:8). This foreshadowed Jesus. His enemies also taunted Him for His trust and faith in God the Father: “He has trusted in God; let God rescue Him now, if He said, ‘I am the Son of God.”’ (Matt. 27:43).
Jesus was also humiliated so that you could be empowered. Although He was without sin, Jesus bore our shame. For example, He was mocked when He stated that a girl believed to be dead was only asleep before He healed her (Matt. 9:24; Mk. 5:40). The solders also mocked Jesus when they beat Him (Matt. 27:29). The chief priests also mocked Him (Matt. 27:41). “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 was also rejected and treated like a outcast so that you would know that He understands your pain and rejection when you cry out to Him.
David found comfort in God during his times of distress. David proclaimed that he would find comfort in God the way an infant finds comfort in his or her mother “ I was cast upon You from birth; You have been my God from my mother’s womb.” (Ps. 22:10). “I have leaned on you since my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You.” (Ps. 71:6). His dependance and trust in God allowed David to cry out whenever he felt sad: “Be gracious to me, LORD, for I am in distress; My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body too.” (Ps. 31:9). “My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?”’ (Ps. 42:3). “I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God.” (Ps. 69:3). “My eye grows dim from misery; I have called upon You every day, LORD; I have spread out my hands to You.” (Ps. 88:9).
Jesus offers you comfort and can lift you up when you are rejected. When you suffer and feel alone, you can always turn to Jesus for comfort. Paul praised Jesus for comfort that He offers that you can share with others: “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.” (1 Cor. 1:3-4). Jesus is the one who restores you when you feel worthless: “But You, LORD, are a shield around me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Ps. 3:3). “A Psalm of David. I will exalt You, LORD, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.” (Ps. 30:1). “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Lk. 21:28). When you are falsely attacked or humiliated, turn to Jesus and let Him comfort you and restore you. Also, when others around you are struggling or are in pain, Jesus wants you to share with them the “comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (1 Cor. 1:4).
David cried out to God for protection when his enemies attacked him. David’s many enemies sought to destroy him. David responding by giving his burdens to God: “12 Many bulls have surrounded me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. 13 They open their mouths wide at me, as a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a piece of pottery, and my tongue clings to my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and they cast lots for my clothing. 19 But You, Lord, do not be far away; You who are my help, hurry to my assistance. 20 Save my soul from the sword, my only life from the power of the dog. 21 Save me from the lion’s mouth; from the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.” (Ps. 22:12-21). Each of David’s statements foreshadowed Jesus’ final suffering at the cross.
The enemies who surrounded David foreshadowed Jesus. David called out to God because his situation seemed hopeless, with enemies on all sides: “Many bulls have surrounded me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.” (Ps. 22:12). When Saul pursued him, David was frequently surrounded by enemies: “They have surrounded me like water all day long; they have encircled me altogether.” (Ps. 88:12). Yet, even when he was surrounded, David trusted God to protect him: “They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; in the name of the LORD I will certainly fend them off.” (Ps. 118:11). Jesus was also surrounded with enemies at His death. Yet, He trusted God the Father.
The enemies who mocked David also foreshadowed Jesus. David also turned to God when his enemies mocked him: “They open their mouths wide at me, as a ravening and roaring lion.” (Ps. 22:13). Job also struggled with the same type of attacks: “They have gaped at me with their mouths, they have slapped me on the cheek with contempt; they have massed themselves against me.” (Job 16:10). When he was attacked, David turned to God to silence his enemies: “Arise, LORD; save me, my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked.” (Ps. 3:7). Like David, Jesus was also mocked. Yet, Jesus forgave His enemies and trusted God.
The attacks on David foreshadowed Jesus’ Crucifixion. David cried out “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within me.” (Ps. 22:14). His bones were “out of joint”, but not broken (Ps. 22:14, 17). This foreshadowed Jesus. Jesus’ bones were also never broken: “For these things took place so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not a bone of Him shall be broken.’” (Jo. 19:35). David also spoke of being “poured out like water.” (Ps. 22:14). When Jesus was struck with a spear, “water” also poured out of his heart: “Yet one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (Jo. 19:34). When the spear penetrated His heart sack or “pericarditis”, Jesus suffered a “haemothorax”. This caused the heavier red cells and the light watery plasma to separate and pour out. The lighter fluid looked like “water”. John’s account also proves that Jesus in fact died on the cross before being resurrected. Knowing this fate, He still trusted God the Father.
David’s depleted and thirsty state also foreshadowed Jesus. David further cried out that his enemy’s attacks made him weak and thirsty: “15 My strength is dried up like a piece of pottery, and my tongue clings to my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death.” (Ps. 22:15). This again foreshadowed Jesus. When He was weak and near death, Jesus again quoted David: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture would be fulfilled, said, ‘I am thirsty.’” (Jo. 19:28).
Jesus took your curse at His death. David said: “You lay me in the dust of death.” (Ps. 22:15). This again pointed to Jesus’s sacrifice. “David used this moving poetic phrase to describe the extent of his misery. He probably had in mind the curse God pronounced upon Adam after his sin: For dust you are, and to dust you shall return (Genesis 3:19). Since all humanity was contained in Adam, this curse extends to the entire human race, and David felt himself close to the dust of death. Obviously, David did not die in the crisis described by this Psalm; he lived to write it and others. He came to the edge of mortality when God brought him to the dust of death. Yet Jesus, the Son of David, did not merely come to the edge of death; He was plunged into the dust of death and into all of the cursedness implied by that. Jesus bore the sting of Adam’s curse for us (Galatians 3:3) so that we would not have to bear it ourselves.” (David Guzik on Ps. 22).
Jesus took your suffering on the cross so that you can escape anguish. Jesus suffered the most intense pain for you. Before being nailed to the cross, Jesus was brutally whipped without being guilty of any crime (Matt. 27:26; Jo. 19:1). As he was marched to his death, was also humiliated and forced to wear a painful crown of thorns (Jo. 19:5). He was then brutally nailed to the cross (Lk. 23:26-43). On the cross, He was also tortured, mocked, and given sour wine to drink using a soaked sponge (Jo. 19:29). Jesus suffered this intense torture so that everyone who believes might live: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,’ [Christ] said to them.” (Mark 14:24; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 2:24; Is. 53:4-12). “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” (Is. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24). Thus, His suffering was necessary.
David’s humiliation at the hands of his enemies also foreshadowed Jesus. David also cried out that his enemies had humiliated him in his weakened state by casting lots for his garments: “18 they divide my garments among them, and they cast lots for my clothing.” (Ps. 22:18). This again foreshadowed Jesus. When He was crucified, the Romans soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ garments: “And when they had crucified Him, they divided His garments among themselves by casting lots.” (Matt. 27:35; Mk. 15:24; Lk. 23:34; Jo. 19:24). David responded to his torment by trusting God “. . . You answer me.” (Ps. 22:19-21). Jesus also trusted in God the Father’s plan: “saying, ‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”’ (Lk. 22:42). At the moment of His death, Jesus again placed His complete trust in God the Father and quoted from David’s Psalm 31:5: “And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Your Hands I entrust My Spirit.’ And having said this, He died.” (Lk. 23:46).
Pray for Jesus to be your shield and to strengthen you when you are attacked. When you are attacked, Jesus promises to be your shield if you take refuge in Him: “He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Prov. 30:5(b); 2 Sam. 22:31). When you are attacked, Jesus will also strengthen you if you pray for His help: “On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.” (Ps. 138:3). “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.” (Ps. 28:7). “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Ps. 3:3). If you feel that you are under spiritual attack, are you praying for Jesus to strengthen you? If for some reason Jesus lifts His hedge of protection, He will only do so for a good reason.
Faith puts your trust in Jesus for protection. You never need to fear evil people when you are doing Jesus’ will: “The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Ps. 118:6). “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Ro. 8:31). “Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; this I know, that God is for me.” (Ps. 56:9). If you feel fear when you are serving Jesus, that is not from Him (2 Tim. 1:7). Pray for Jesus’ protection and rebuke Satan in Jesus’ name. If Jesus still allows you to experience a painful trial, Jesus knows what you can endure.
David responded to his trials by praising God. As a man of faith, David did not focus on himself. Instead, he took his mind off of his pain by turning to God and praising Him: “22 I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You. 23 You who fear the Lord, praise Him; all you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel. 24 For He has not despised nor scorned the suffering of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard. 25 From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.” (Ps. 22:22-25). Jesus also wants you to take your eyes off yourself. Instead, give Him your burdens and thank Him with praise.
Praise Jesus for suffering so that all could live. David praised God saying: ““22 I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You.” (Ps. 22:22). The author of Hebrews later quoted from this same verse to reveal that this praise was meant for Jesus: “saying, “I will proclaim Your Name to my brothers, in the midst of the assembly I will sing your praise.”’ (Heb. 2:12). As our example, Jesus also proclaimed the name of God the Father: “and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (Jo. 17:26). Jesus in turn deserves your praise for His holy name. He died on the cross and fulfilled David’s words so that you could have eternal life (Jo. 3:16).
Praise Jesus that He will never leave you nor forsake you. David praised God by saying: “For He has not despised nor scorned the suffering of the afflicted:” (Ps. 22:24). Moses told the Jews to “Be strong and courageous, . . . , for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.” (Dt. 31:6). Even when you sin, Jesus also promises you that He will also never leave or forsake you (Heb. 13:5).
Praise Jesus that He will hear your prayers and comfort you in your pain. David also praised God by saying: “nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard.” (Ps. 22:24). In the Old Testament, God warned that He will not hear the prayers of sinners (Is. 1:15). Jesus repeated this warnings about the consequence of sin (Jo. 9:31). Peter also warned that unrepentant sin can still “hinder” a believer’s prayers (1 Pet. 3:7). You can praise Jesus because He hears your prayers, and He has given you the power to pray in His name when you seek to do His will (Jo. 14:13-14).
Praise Jesus for your testing. Jesus perfects your faith through testing. He searches your heart to expose things that need to be pruned away: “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.” (Jer. 17:10; 20:12). He then tests you to show you where your heart is evil (Jer. 17:9). He also tests you to show you where your faith is lacking. When He tests you, rejoice in knowing that His testing is designed to build up your faith: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,” (Jam. 1:2). David was a sinner. Yet, he invited God to search his heart to expose his sins (Ps. 139:23). His openness to learning from his sins is what made him a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22). If you think you don’t have any sins, God’s truth is not in you (1 Jo. 1:8). Are you inviting His testing?
Praise Jesus for protecting you from what He suffered. Jesus is your rock. Thus, He deserves your praise for His protection: “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,” (2 Sam. 22:47). “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my savior, You save me from violence.” (2 Sam. 22:3). “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” (Dt. 32:4). “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Ps. 18:2, 31, 46; 19:14). Do you praise Jesus for His hedge of protection in your life?
Even though he continually suffered, David persevered in his faith. As a man of faith, David proclaimed that the faithful can find satisfaction in God, even when afflicted: “26 The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the Lord. May your heart live forever!” (Ps. 22:26). David never gave up during his trials. God rewarded him by sustaining him and using him for His greater plans. When you persevere for Jesus, He will also sustain and bless you. Thus, He deserves your praise.
Persevere when Jesus tests you, and He will bless you in the end. Trials allow believers to become more obedient in their walk: “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” (Heb. 5:8). Trials also allow Jesus to prune the parts of a believer’s life that are not of Him: “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (Jo. 15:2). Trials further allow Jesus to build perseverance, character, and hope: “And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;” (Ro. 5:3-4). Furthermore, Jesus will bless those who endure their trials with a crown of life: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (Jam. 1:12). For example, the Bible celebrates Job for his endurance through his trials: “We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” (Jam. 5:11). Thus, you are called upon to celebrate the growth that your trials produce (Jam. 1:2). Finally, if, like Job, David, or Jesus, you are deemed worthy of suffering for God’s greater plans for good (Ro. 8:28), it is an honor that will be forever celebrated in heaven (Acts 5:41; 1 Pet. 4:14-16).
When David suffered through a trial, he worshipped God for His faithfulness. In his pain and suffering, David proclaimed a time when the world will submit and worship God: “27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before You. 28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, all those who go down to the dust will kneel before Him, even he who cannot keep his soul alive.” (Ps. 22:27-29). David knew that God was in control and that he suffered for God’s greater purpose. You will also never feel alone if you trust that Jesus is in full control. You can respond with praise and worship because your suffering services His greater plans.
Every person will one day confess Jesus is Lord. David proclaimed that “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before You.” (Ps. 22:27). This foreshadowed Jesus. All the world will one day bow to Him: “9 For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11).
Jesus will rule over the nations. David proclaimed: “28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations.” (Ps. 22:28). This again foreshadowed Jesus. He will one day judge the wicked nations. (Rev. 19:15). He will then reign forever and bring peace and righteousness to all His believers: “For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of armies will accomplish this.” (Is. 9:6-7).
Worship Jesus because He will always be faithful to forgive your sins. Among the many reasons to worship Jesus, He promises that you will never suffer the punishment that He took at the cross. He promises to forgive your sins if you confess them: “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). He not only forgives sins, He will remember the sins no more: “I, I alone, am the one who wipes out your wrongdoings for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Is. 43:25). Thus, He deserves your worship.
Worship Jesus because He will cause your suffering to work together for a greater good. Today, you never suffer without a purpose. Jesus uses your suffering for a greater purpose: “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. 8:28). Thus, even when you suffer or others around you suffer, Jesus deserves your worship.
David proclaimed that the future generation would praise God’s righteousness. In another foreshadowing to Jesus, David concluded that a future generation would praise God for the suffering he described: “30 A posterity will serve Him; it will be told of the Lord to the coming generation. 31 They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has performed it.” (Ps. 22:30-31). David could not have possibly known the meaning of his words. Jesus would quote from this Psalm at the cross, and this Psalm would foreshadow Jesus’ suffering for all mankind. Just as David foretold, countless generations have since proclaimed Jesus for His righteousness.
Share the good news that Jesus’ painful death made eternal life possible. David’s suffering served a greater purpose. God molding him in his suffering. His suffering also foreshadowed Jesus’ future suffering (Ro. 8:28). Jesus’ suffering also served a purpose. Without His suffering, no one could be made righteous before God: “[T]here is no one who does good.” (Ps. 14:1; 53:1; 143:2; Rom. 3:10-11). Only the blood of Christ can save you from judgment: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). The shedding of His blood symbolized the exchanging of His life for yours (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22). “God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.” (Rom. 3:25). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, . . .” (Gal. 3:13). If you are grateful, how are you thanking Jesus? (Ro. 12:1). When someone around you is suffering, will you share with them the good news?
Share the love of Jesus when someone feels alone, in pain, judged, or worthless. For Jesus, it was a “joy” for Him to suffer a painful death because it meant that we could be reconciled to Him: “looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2). Out of love, His desire is to be reconciled to you: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jo. 3:16). “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (Jo. 10:11). “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (Jo. 15:13). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8). Jesus does not merely want to save you. He also wants to delight in your fellowship with Him (Rev. 3:20). Are you sharing this good news with others?
Share the good news by fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission. David proclaimed that a future generation would “come and will declare His righteousness” (Ps. 22:31). This foreshadowed Jesus’ Great Commission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20). Are you fulfilling Jesus’ calling for you?