There Is Still Hope The Prophet Speaks: 3 1I have suffered much because God was angry. 2He chased me into a dark place, where no light could enter. 3I am the only one he punishes over and over again, without ever stopping. 4God caused my skin and flesh to waste away, and he crushed my bones. 5He attacked and surrounded me with hardships and trouble; 6he forced me to sit in the dark like someone long dead.   7God built a fence around me that I cannot climb over, and he chained me down. 8Even when I shouted and prayed for help, he refused to listen. 9God put big rocks in my way and made me follow a crooked path. 10God was like a bear or a lion waiting in ambush for me; 11he dragged me from the road, then tore me to shreds.[M] 12God took careful aim and shot his arrows 13straight through my heart.   14I am a joke to everyone— no one ever stops making fun of me. 15God has turned my life sour. 16He made me eat gravel and rubbed me in the dirt. 17I cannot find peace or remember happiness.   18I tell myself, “I am finished! I can't count on the LORD to do anything for me.” 19Just thinking of my troubles and my lonely wandering makes me miserable. 20That's all I ever think about, and I am depressed.[N] 21Then I remember something that fills me with hope. 22The LORD's kindness never fails! If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed.[O] 23The LORD can always be trusted to show mercy each morning. 24Deep in my heart I say, “The LORD is all I need; I can depend on him!”   25The LORD is kind to everyone who trusts and obeys him. 26It is good to wait patiently for the LORD to save us. 27When we are young, it is good to struggle hard 28and to sit silently alone, if this is what the LORD intends. 29Being rubbed in the dirt can teach us a lesson;[P] 30we can also learn from insults and hard knocks.   31The Lord won't always reject us! 32He causes a lot of suffering, but he also has pity because of his great love. 33The Lord doesn't enjoy sending grief or pain.   34Don't trample prisoners under your feet 35or cheat anyone out of what is rightfully theirs. God Most High sees everything, 36and he knows when you refuse to give someone a fair trial. 37No one can do anything without the Lord's approval. 38Good and bad each happen at the command of God Most High. 39We're still alive! We shouldn't complain when we are being punished for our sins. 40Instead, we should think about the way we are living, and turn back to the LORD.   41When we lift our hands in prayer to God in heaven, we should offer him our hearts and say, 42 “We've sinned! We've rebelled against you, and you haven't forgiven us! 43Anger is written all over you, as you pursue and slaughter us without showing pity. 44You are behind a wall of clouds that blocks out our prayers. 45You allowed nations to treat us like garbage; 46our enemies curse us. 47We are terrified and trapped, caught and crushed.”   48My people are destroyed! Tears flood my eyes, 49and they won't stop 50until the LORD looks down from heaven and helps. 51I am horrified when I see what enemies have done to the young women of our city.   52No one had reason to hate me, but I was hunted down like a bird. 53Then they tried to kill me by tossing me into a pit and throwing stones at me. 54Water covered my head— I thought I was gone.   55From the bottom of the pit, I prayed to you, LORD. 56I begged you to listen. “Help!” I shouted. “Save me!” You answered my prayer 57and came when I was in need. You told me, “Don't worry!” 58You rescued me and saved my life. 59You saw them abuse me, LORD, so make things right. 60You know every plot they have made against me. 61Yes, you know their insults and their evil plans. 62All day long they attack with words and whispers. 63No matter what they are doing, they keep on mocking me.   64Pay them back for everything they have done, LORD! 65Put your curse on them and make them suffer.[Q] 66Get angry and go after them until not a trace is left under the heavens.  
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