The Psalms are such a precious book for believers today. When we read other books of the Bible we have to understand the context and audience of the message and then apply it to our lives, but with the Psalms, we are invited directly into the prayers, songs, praises, and laments of God’s people. That reality is especially valuable with a Psalm like this…a Psalm of lament and desperation because life is not always kind to us.
There are moments when we feel surrounded by darkness. Buried in depression. Overwhelmed with anger. Plagued with hurt. But even in the midst of all of that we can run to the Lord and cry out to him. Just look at verses 1-3. Have you ever cried out to the Lord, “How long?” It’s okay, God can take it. God does not turn away from us when we run to him, even when we are upset. In fact, into his arms is exactly where we are supposed to run when we are angry or frustrated with God. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
Look at verses 6-7. David turns from anger to grief. He is broken. This is more than tearing up a little bit, he says “my eyes waste away because of grief.” Maybe you’re not so much angry as you are brokenhearted. God is not sitting idly by when we are in a bad place. Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Matthew 14:14 says that Jesus had compassion for the crowds, the sick, and the hurting. When God took on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ he naturally gravitated towards the broken. That is the very heart of God. When you feel like you are wasting away because of your grief the Lord is not far off or looking down on you in pity - he is with you.
That is how David can close this Psalm with 8-10. He knows that the Lord has heard his cry. He knows that the Lord is with him and near to him. He goes to the Lord with his anger and pain, but he can leave it before the Lord because he has faith that God has not only heard him but answered him.
So what’s the big takeaway? You can run to God with whatever is on your heart. You can lament and express your raw, unfiltered heart before. He created it - he already knows it - and he paid the price to redeem it. So give it all to him. Warts and all. And watch as his steadfast love rejuvenates, heals, and comforts your soul.
What does Lament mean?
How have you seen God answer prayers in your life?
Is there some hurt or anger that you are keeping from the Lord?
Written By: Joe Weaver
The strength of emotion in this passage connects with all of us I am sure. In every life we face some extreme moments; we face death and just don’t know how we continue. Someone said that to me last year when they lost their wife, “I just don’t know how I go on.” We don’t know, but God does. Because He is what will lift us up. 20 years ago, Ben and I were suddenly in the hospital being told that Darbi was going to need to be born at 28 weeks. Within 24 hours and amidst a whirlwind of stress-inducing activity, we were both covered in Peace. It is hard to explain and very definitely the Peace of God that “surpasses all understanding.” But we just knew that everything was going to be good and now Darbi is starting her second year of college.
I am not sure we even have the capability of dealing with trouble and grief without God. We are told that when we mourn, Joy will come in the morning. Joy comes from God alone.