Longing for God’s Presence

Open Your Bible

Psalm 84:1-12, Psalm 88:1-18, Psalm 89:1-52

Book III
While Book III contains threads of hope, it is often labeled as the “dark” book of the Psalter because of its focus on lament.

Life is short. The truth of this weighs on me, especially on the night before birthdays and every time I try to stay out after 11 pm. I also notice it here: have you ever been at a great dinner with great friends and thought, “This is amazing, and we are officially going to do this together every weekend from now on”—and then savor the next dinner together a decade later? The years are flying, friends. 

And some of our days and years have been heartbreaking and exhausting. We spend interminable nights calling out to the Lord, just like Ethan the Ezrahite, “How long, LORD?” (Psalm 89:46). How long will our suffering last? Turns out, not that long. Remember what Paul said about suffering on earth? He called it “momentary light affliction” (2Corinthians 4:17). What a wonderful and shocking perspective. This life is short and eternity is neverending. 

But the sufferings of even this short life make us desperately long for God’s rescue, comfort, and presence. And it is this final longing that is at the heart of our desire. While relief from struggle and hardship is lovely, our hearts are not truly fulfilled and comforted unless we know we are not alone and orphaned. The sons of Korah cry, “Better a day in your courts than a thousand anywhere else” (Psalm 84:10). Our true desire is for the fellowship of God’s presence. We long to know that someone is consistently there for us, that our voice is heard and not ignored. 

Do you still sometimes find yourself in the darkest depths, saying, like the psalmist: “I am like the slain lying in the grave, whom you no longer remember, and who are cut off from your care” (Psalm 88:5)? Yet even in our most desperate hour, we have the sure hope of Jesus Christ, who works wonders even for the dead, who declared His faithful love even in the grave! 

Even in these short pilgrim days, the promise of His abiding presence sustains us. Our eternal hope is not merely a thing yet to come but a present reality. We say, “may my prayer reach your presence; listen to my cry” (v.2). And we know that He hears, for He is our magnificent strength. Because His faithful love and truth go before Him, happy are we who walk in the light from His face (Psalm 89:17,14–15). 

And the great marriage supper of the Lamb in heaven will surpass all the best and richest dinner parties we’ve ever enjoyed during our sojourn days here on earth. These days can feel long, but our redemption is coming, and our joy in His presence will be absolutely incomparable. 

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39 thoughts on "Longing for God’s Presence"

  1. Sierra May says:

    The place God loves for us to be in is a state of longing for him. It’s a humbling state to be in. When we find ourselves longing for God, it’s telling God, I know you know I know I can not do this life without you; not even a little bit. It’s an absolutely lovely place to find yourself.

  2. Miri am says:

    @victoria E – thank you for bringing us along on the journey with you. Your courage to be vulnerable and share has shown us God’s faithfulness. It’s a blessing to see your blessings!

  3. Fabi Hamstra says:


  4. Cristina Higgins says:

    Elaine Morgan, I am praying for your niece, her babies and family. Please keep us updated!!

  5. Lexi B says:

    Elaine- praying for Amber that her bleeding stop so that she can hold her twin boys.
    Victoria E- praying for your daycare situation.
    Dorothy- praying for you and your sister in regards to the situation with her son.

  6. Terri Baldwin says:

    Longing for God to rescue us !

  7. Mercy says:

    Psalm 88 caught me on my track. I had to stop and re-read. The psalmist was in great distress and anguish. He said Lord you distanced my friends, my loved ones and neighbors from me, and how the psalmist suffered at a young age. That made me think of Joseph. If Joseph was sold into slavery, broken and traumatized at such a young age, it could as well be his lamentation. But Joseph didn’t stop following God. His story continued. And then I think of our Lord Jesus, this could be as well his lamentation. All the great men in the Bible are no strangers to suffering and great pain, yet their stories with God continued.

    Thank you Tina, Searching for your responses❤️.
    Praying for Amber and her twin babies.
    Praying for you dear Victoria E and daycare situation for baby Elijah. He is about the same age with my baby girl. She is 6 month ish lol. Wishing your family smooth juggling. ❤️