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When pain is real and God seems silent

Finding Hope in the Psalms

Meditations on Psalms 88 and 89 that will encourage Christians who are feeling abandoned by God.

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In dark times, God can seem silent. We feel isolated, confused, and alone. Everyone experiences suffering—even the biblical writers express similar feelings in the Psalms.

Through brief meditations on Psalms 88 and 89, Ligon Duncan points to hope in the midst of the pain of feeling abandoned by God. These examples of crying out to God show readers how to respond to their own suffering, and assure them of our heavenly Father's mercy that sustains trust even in the darkest of circumstances.

With clarity, empathy, and compassion, Duncan points us to the powerful hope found in these psalms that ultimately point us to Christ’s promise to never leave us alone.

Product details


  • Foreword by Mark Dever
  • 1. Psalm 88
  • What Can Miserable Christians Sing?
  • Surveying the Psalm: Four Observations
  • Four Lessons for Suffering Well
  • Our Suffering and the Suffering of Jesus
  • 2. Psalm 89
  • Three Hope-Filled Observations from Psalm 89
  • Three Doctrines That Sustain Us in Suffering
  • One Final Hope: The Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Notes
  • General Index
  • Scripture Index

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Look Inside

(233.7 KB)


ISBN 9781433569050
Format Paperback
First published May 2020
Dimensions 133mm x 203mm x 4mm
Language English
Pages 64
Publisher Crossway

R. Albert Mohler Jr.

President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Bible is strikingly candid about human suffering, including the vexing reality that God’s own people suffer—and often suffer excruciatingly and lastingly. Where do we find help? Ligon Duncan, one of the most faithful Christian teachers of our time, takes us deeply into the Psalms in a book that will be of great encouragement to all believers. I am so thankful for Ligon Duncan’s devotion to God’s word and the care of souls. Read this book, and you will understand why.

Nancy Guthrie

Bible teacher; author, Even Better than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything about Your Story

Here is a book that is short enough for the person who is gripped by suffering to actually read, and yet rich enough to meet that individual’s need for perspective and hope in the darkest of times.

Greg Gilbert

Senior Pastor, Third Avenue Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky

Ligon Duncan shows us beautifully how, even in our deepest despair, we can have hope in God. We can run to him because he cares and understands. Through this book, Duncan continually lifts our gaze and reminds us that no matter our circumstances, our great God is sympathetic, sovereign, and sufficient. Read this book for yourself, or make it a gift to those struggling in their suffering. Here’s the truth: You are not alone. The Lord knows, and he hears.

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When pain is real and God seems silent | £6.99 £5.59