Lament – Finding God’s Mercy in Our Time of Need

God put lament in the Bible for a reason. To help us. To instruct us. To care for us.

A lament is defined as a passionate expression of grief or sorrow; a song, piece of music, or poem expressing grief or sorrow; a complaint.

Around 30 percent of the psalms are laments. Many of the Psalms of David are laments (when his baby died after his affair with Bathsheba,  when Saul hunted him down in the caves, when his own son tried to kill him). Many of his laments came after he had turned away from God. Yet God called David “A man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22). Why? Because he turned back to God.

The important thing is that we are turning to God.

Some may feel that it is wrong to question God, but the Bible is rife with people who cry out to God, “Why?” Why? Why?

Why did my loved one die? (David) Why did I lose my job? Why was Jerusalem destroyed? (Jeremiah) Why did my son turn against me? (David). Why did I lose my family, my wealth, even my health? (Job).

We suffer the same as those biblical examples. Why does my child have autism, cancer, learning disabilities, etc.? Why have my loved one(s) turned away from God? Why have I lost my health, job, home?

Why Why Why, we cry out to God.

God knows our thoughts. We cannot hide them from him. He knows we are dust, weak, frail; even the strongest of us.But God does not berate us for our laments. When our questions are directed at God, we are communicating with him or or sometimes at him.

Or the greatest lament of all, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus, the Son, felt the same distress that we sometimes feel. He was separated from God during the time that he was dead. And he cried out to God, the Father, “Why?”

14 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-15 (NIV)

It is okay to question God, to go to him in distress. The important thing is to turn to Him, not away from him.

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