(American Standard Version)
1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
2 He hath led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light.
3 Surely against me he turneth his hand again and again all the day.
4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones.
5 He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.
6 He hath made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead.
7 He hath walled me about, that I cannot go forth; he hath made my chain heavy.
8 Yea, when I cry, and call for help, he shutteth out my prayer.
9 He hath walled up my ways with hewn stone; he hath made my paths crooked.
10 He is unto me as a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places.
11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he hath made me desolate.
12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
13 He hath caused the shafts of his quiver to enter into my reins.
14 I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.
15 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath sated me with wormwood.
16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he hath covered me with ashes.
17 And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace; I forgat prosperity.
18 And I said, My strength is perished, and mine expectation from Jehovah.
19 Remember mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.
20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is bowed down within me.
21 This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope.
22 It is of Jehovah's lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.
24 Jehovah is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 Jehovah is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Jehovah.
27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and keep silence, because he hath laid it upon him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to him that smiteth him; let him be filled full with reproach.
31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever.
32 For though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.
33 For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.
34 To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth,
35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High,
36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.
37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
38 Out of the mouth of the Most High cometh there not evil and good?
39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to Jehovah.
41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.
42 We have transgressed and have rebelled; thou hast not pardoned.
43 Thou hast covered with anger and pursued us; thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.
44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through.
45 Thou hast made us an off-scouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples.
46 All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us.
47 Fear and the pit are come upon us, devastation and destruction.
48 Mine eye runneth down with streams of water, for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 Mine eye poureth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission,
50 Till Jehovah look down, and behold from heaven.
51 Mine eye affecteth my soul, because of all the daughters of my city.
52 They have chased me sore like a bird, they that are mine enemies without cause.
53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and have cast a stone upon me.
54 Waters flowed over my head; I said, I am cut off.
55 I called upon thy name, O Jehovah, out of the lowest dungeon.
56 Thou heardest my voice; hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.
57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee; thou saidst, Fear not.
58 O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.
59 O Jehovah, thou hast seen my wrong; judge thou my cause.
60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their devices against me.
61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O Jehovah, and all their devices against me,
62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.
63 Behold thou their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their song.
64 Thou wilt render unto them a recompense, O Jehovah, according to the work of their hands.
65 Thou wilt give them hardness of heart, thy curse unto them.
66 Thou wilt pursue them in anger, and destroy them from under the heavens of Jehovah.
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel.
(2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)