Just as the sun can be blotted out by an eclipse, so moods of pessimism and doubt can plunge us into spiritual darkness. At times our situation may seem so desperate that we think even God Almighty can’t carry us through.

That was the gloomy attitude of Robert Cushman, who recorded his despair on the Mayflower in 1620. He wrote, “If we ever make a plantation in New England, God works a miracle! Especially considering how scant we shall be of victuals [vittles], and (worst of all) ununited amongst ourselves. If I should write you of all the things that foretell our ruin, I should overcharge my weak head and grieve your tender heart. Only this I pray you. Prepare for evil tidings of us every day. I see not in reason how we can escape. Pray for us instantly.” In spite of Cushman’s fears, God brought the pilgrims to their destination and enabled them to establish a home in the wilderness.

The author of Psalm 85 praised that same providence of God. He knew how the Lord had provided for Israel in the past (vv.1-3). Now he called on God to deliver His repentant people from the present evil (vv.4-7), and he confidently anticipated the answer to that prayer (vv.8-13).

Let’s not doubt God’s all-sufficient enablement. He will carry us through life’s darkest hours.