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January 7 – Trust Jesus to hold you close

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” – Psalm 22:1 

Scripture reading: Psalm 22:1-21 

Jesus prayed this lament with people like you and me on His heart. To personalize His words, we need to return to the cross. His body convulses with pain. His soul trembles with the lonely shuddering of hell. Yet He prays! That’s trust in the midst of trial! Let us learn from His exercise of faith.

First, value His trial for us. In His trial, Jesus groans at the distance between Himself and God. Because of the distance, Jesus cries, but hears no answer (read 22:1-2). Because of the distance, Jesus feels the stinging shame of angry mockers (read 22:6-8,11). Because of the distance, Jesus wearies from physical and emotional trauma (read 22:12-18). He enters that hellish loneliness for us! Jesus takes our place far away from God. (See the word “far” in verses 1,11,19.)

Second, Jesus engages His trial with trust. His trust is also for us! Trust is the breath under every agonizing sigh and each haunting groan. Trust is the power of Jesus’s memory to recall the way God answered the prayers of other believers (read 22:3-4) and the way God developed this faith in Jesus as a child (read 22:9-10). Yes, Jesus prays for Himself to endure the cross. But remember, Jesus endures God’s wrath for sin that belongs to people like you and me. If Jesus does not survive the cross, then God must leave us far away. Indeed, Jesus’s trust secures our place near to God.

Tomorrow we will hear God’s surprising answer.

Suggestions for prayer

Reverently read Psalm 22:1-21. Acknowledge that you deserve the distance Jesus experiences. Thank God for Jesus’s strong trust that kept Him praying. Plead with God to preserve you (vv.19-21).

Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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