Depressing Bible stories

The depressing stories in the Bible — the ones without a good ending — are essential for the health of God’s people.

There are seasons in my life where each day was gloomy.

Psalm 88 ends,

You have distanced loved one and neighbor from me;
darkness is my only friend.

That’s bleak.

But I am grateful - beyond my capacity to express - that God put this in the Bible.


A couple of years ago, I listened to a Tim Keller sermon about how God included this Psalm in the Bible. Although there seemed no obvious hope at the end of this particular Psalm, Tim Keller said that it’s there in the Bible because it shows the Psalmist still doing the right thing: he is still directing his complaint to God, rather than ignoring God or choosing another source of comfort. God encourages us that even in those dark, seemingly hopeless moments, we can call out to him in our despair. It seems that this is the purpose of having included gloomy narratives like this. We can still learn from it.

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