How the Psalms Help Us With Our Pain

Dealing with anxiety and depression

When we have the boldness to tell God honestly how we feel, something awesome happens.

Thank you CLA for the opportunity to share last Sunday about depression and anxiety. We have much to learn and many hurting people to love. One of the tools God has given the church that allows us to walk through our pain, are the Psalms of Lament. When we face unanswered sorrow, when we feel disoriented, there are really three options:

1) We can keep it inside. Nurse our pain until we self-destruct and the pain explodes into anger and violence to those around us. 
2) Or, we can deny our pain and maintain the status quo. Sing our favourite worship songs and say, “God is good”, though we don’t in our gut believe a word of it. When we become numb to our pain we become numb to God. 
3) Or, we can follow the lead of the Psalmist and take our pain to God. We can be honest with how we feel and say, “you’re supposed to be faithful and I don’t sense it or You! You’re supposed to be good, but right now I am not experiencing it! 

Sharing with God this desperate honesty of our pain is deeply redemptive. Prayers of Lament are really radical acts of faith and hope, because they refuse, even in the midst of suffering to give up on God. Silence will not get you through suffering or pain. Speech addressed to God will get us through, like Psalms 22, 44, 88 or Psalm 30, “Hear, O Yahweh and be merciful to me; oh Yahweh, be my help”.
When we have the boldness to tell God honestly how we feel, even if it does not sound theologically correct, yet is gut-honest, something awesome happens. God comes. Israel’s cry in their slavery brought deliverance, Exodus 2:23-25. In the Gospels three days after Jesus’ own lament, His cry of abandonment on the cross, God acted and defeated the power of death raising Jesus from the grave. We do know that our suffering matters to God. Voicing our pain to God is redemptive and healing. 

Jonathan Martin, who will be speaking here at CLA Sunday, June 4th, states in his book, 'How to Survive a Shipwreck', "Repressing that which lives in the chaos beneath us is a perfectly good way to live an ordered life, but not a way to live a full one”. 

Give God your heart, give Him your gut level honesty.