The Ministry to Seafarers (M2S)

Psalm 102 Journal Starter

Hi friends! Thank you so much for joining us here.

We hope these journal starters spark reflection on the Psalms.

If you want to, you can share some of your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear how God is working in your heart.

You can listen to Psalm 102 here. You can find Psalm 102 in the New International Version here.

Journal Starter for Psalm 102

This psalm is described from the very beginning as "a prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord." The context of this psalm shows us that this afflicted person was probably an exile (a person banished from his native land) in Babylon. We see that he is suffering from a fever, is so upset he cannot eat, and is being mocked.

We learn about all of this suffering in the first stanza of this poem. It is his lament. He asks God to listen to him, then pours out his heart to God about his physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.
- How are you really doing? Pour out your heart to God about any physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual pain YOU are enduring. Tell Him about it in as much detail as you want to. How do you feel about your suffering? Are you tired, angry, depressed?
In the second stanza of this psalm, the writer shifts his focus from his individual story to the bigger story God has told him about. He bases his hope for the future in a secure place: The promises of God that were communicated to the people of Israel in scripture through prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah.
This man had a scriptural basis for hope in what would happen in the near future—the rebuilding of the temple—and what we all await—the complete establishing of a new heaven and a new earth where peoples from all nations will worship the LORD and be with Him in His glory. 
- Take some time to think about what God has promised to do. Write down/pray about your hopes for the future, based on what God has promised. [One passage you could look at is Revelation 21]
After seeing his life in light of God's promises, the suffering exile comes to God with his requests once again, but this time with a confidence and trust that goes beyond his requests. 
- Bring any other requests you have to God or even repeat the requests you made before.

-Even if God doesn't say "yes" to your requests, what are you certain He WILL do?
One of the reasons why this man's suffering was so great is because he was alone. Please know that you do not have to be alone in your suffering! Feel free to contact one of our chaplains if you want to talk. We are here for you.

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