Bible sunlight

My younger grandchildren love to sing songs to me. They may be serious songs, but they are never dirges or like elevator music (I hate elevator music that sanitizes songs).They like silly songs. Can you hear them giggling?

If I were to ask you what is your favorite Psalm I assume it would be one of promise and joy (Psalm 23, 139, 150, etc.). We like positive Psalms of visible hope the most. But as you read through the Psalms you will note one third of them are lament songs and/or prayers. Don’t miss that: authentic, God-centered worship acknowledges our world—my world and your world—is broken, sin seems to be winning (personally at times and certainly all around us), pain is real, and we long for heaven.

So the Psalms of lament can become our prayers to God. They go deep and to places we may try to avoid. But as it has been said, “To cry is human, but to lament is Christian…to direct our sorrow to God in order to renew our trust in Him.”

One of the worst possibilities about our losses and crosses is the sense of being forgotten. It sounds like this: “How, God, could You do this to me?” “Where were You when I needed You?” Psalm 9, a lament to be savored, introduces this idea of forgottenness—of being unknown or neglected in a fallen world that, at its heart, really cares about itself more than it does about me. “Sing praises to the LORD,” David urges, “who sits enthroned in Zion...For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted” (9:11-12). “is mindful…does not forget” are encouraging, inspired words.

Follower of Christ: You have not been forgotten.

Here is an extended quote from “knowing God” by J.I. Packer:

What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it—the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hand. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me…there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters.

This is momentous knowledge…unspeakable comfort…tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovering now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me.

It is the explicit announcement, promise, and claim of Scripture—of God Himself—that the reasons for our earthly laments will be wiped away in His presence (read Revelation 20-21).

Why not write a lament to God of the things that trouble you and end with joyful thanksgiving for His ultimate resolution in His presence soon?

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