My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Psalm 25:17 (NLT)

The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, writes, “When the darkest hour of the night arrives we may expect the dawn; when the sea is at its lowest ebb the tide must surely turn; and when our troubles are enlarged to the greatest degree, then we may hopefully pray, O bring thou me out of my distresses.”

There are times in our lives when it seems our trouble goes from bad to worse with no relief in sight. It might be something relatively simple like a day in which everything seems to go wrong or something major that will change your life forever and threatens your faith and your ability to go on.

The struggles we endure can come from the hands of others, those intent on getting what they want at any cost without regard to the needs and emotional state of others. Their attacks seem relentless. The wounds they inflict may be unseen by men, but cause you to die internally one blow at a time.

Hard as it is to take the abuse of others the abuse of our own heart is the most destructive. The self-inflicted wounds of an unforgiving spirit entangle us. We won’t forgive them. Not after what they did. They won’t control us anymore. While our abuser may not control us physically anymore, our refusal to forgive keeps us in chains.

Another enemy of the heart may be more dastardly than the refusal to forgive others is the refusal to forgive ourselves. Isn’t it true that many of the things that keep us awake at night are those things that we’ve done to ourselves? The financial choices we knew were a risk but took them anyway and now the house is in foreclosure? The affair that you want so desperately to hold on to but know you need to end? The secret sin you harbor, but live in fear of being found out?

You may not have any control over the attacks of others. You can free yourselves of the shackles of guilt and shame. You can forgive your attacker and be released from that bondage. That forgiveness is for your sake, not theirs. It frees you from the shackles; it doesn’t free them from the responsibility for their actions.

You can be free of the problems that are keeping you down. You can’t do it alone. It will take time and hard work. But the rewards are worth the battle. The Psalmist knew where his help came from. He knew that with the help of his Heavenly Father he would once again see the light of dawn on the horizon.

We have that same hope. Your struggle may be emotional or physical. It may be self-inflicted or the cruel actions of others. Whatever is keeping you in bondage can be destroyed through Jesus Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Your troubles may seem to be going from bad to worse with no hope on the horizon, but there is hope through faith in a loving Father.

PRAYER: Father God, I feel like my problems are too overwhelming for me to go on. I struggle to forgive others and myself for things that I now suffer the consequences for. I ask that you free me from these chains. Empower me with your Spirit to live free. Help me to see the dawn in the midst of my present darkness. Amen.