In a documentary film about three legendary guitarists, Jack White described the first essential for writing a song: “If you don’t have a struggle already inside of you or around you, you have to make one up.”
The songs that mean the most to us give expression to our deepest feelings. Many of the Psalms, often called “the Bible’s songbook,” were born out of struggle. They capture our disappointments and fears, yet they always point us toward the faithful love of God.
In Psalm 31, David wrote: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (v.9). He speaks of a trap set for him (v.4), his own sin (v.10), abandonment by friends (vv.11-12), and plots against his life (v.13).
Yet, David’s hope was not in his own strength, but in God. “I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me” (vv.14-15).
The Psalms invite us to pour out our hearts to God, because He has stored up His goodness for those who trust in Him (v.19).
You’ll not have to face life alone;
For when you grow weak in your struggle,
His strength will prevail—not your own. —Hess