“How to Suffer Well” – Psalm 25:16-22

“How to Suffer Well” – Psalm 25:16-22

We now come to the conclusion of David’s prayer.

All alone

David continues to show us what it looks like to be a man after God’s own heart. He has fixed his eyes on the Lord as his only hope, yet he feels like God is ignoring him. He pleads for God to turn and take notice of all that is going on in his life.

David tells the Lord that he is desolate or alone. This is a common theme throughout Scripture. Elijah tells God that he is the only one. Jeremiah, Daniel, Jacob, Joseph, and so many others find themselves facing trials with no one by their side. Although they have companions, it appears that God places them by themselves in their darkest times. David wants God to look on his loneliness and intervene.

David’s pain

David is in pain. He is hurting. Much of this pain comes from his struggle to see God at work in his life. He sees his problems only getting bigger, not smaller. David also speaks of these troubles as being inward struggles more than physical. Sometimes the inward spiritual struggles are the hardest ones to face.

David longs for deliverance from his distresses. The word here literally means “narrowness.” It is like David is in a cattle chute being funneled to the slaughter. He also uses this in the plural, meaning that he feels like there are several issues for which he sees no way out.

The word affliction can mean depressed or miserable; David is struggling. This struggle is painful. A huge part of this pain is that he feels like God is ignoring him. He begs God to take notice of him and intervene. For the third time in this Psalm David implores God for forgiveness. He is desperate to ensure that it is not his sin that is causing his problems.

Prayer for deliverance

David speaks next of his need for deliverance. He has many, many enemies. They not only hate him, but they are seeking to do violence to him. David needs God to protect him from them.

Because David’s struggles have been primarily inward, spiritual struggles, David cries out that God would keep his soul. His body is failing, but he cares more for his soul. He has boasted in the Lord and does not want to be ashamed because God has not come through for him.

David is concerned that this trial may result in his own moral failure. He wants God to keep him from falling. He also is pointing out to God that he has tried to do what is right and maintain his integrity in the face of these difficulties. He is now going to patiently wait for the Lord to come through.

Focusing on others

David ends his prayer by focusing on others. He realizes that all of the people of God face trials. He prays for others. He wants God to help other believers in the midst of their trials as well.


The feeling of loneliness is part of the Christian life; we will all feel this way from time to time.

Spiritual pain is real and is some of the most intense pain you can face.

Many of our problems can be caused by our own sins; we must ensure that we repent of all known sin if we desire for God to deliver us.

If we follow Christ we will have many people who hate us. The more we follow Christ the more violent they will become.

Our primary concern in our trials must be our souls. Falling into sin is more dreadful than succumbing to the trials we face.

Praying for others and helping them in their struggles is one of the greatest ways to have joy in the midst of our trials.

We must continually seek the Lord.


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