“I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD… I pour out my complaint before Him; and tell Him all my troubles.” (from Psalm 142:1-2)
If you have been a believer for any duration of time, I am quite certain that you have found yourself in times when everything seems to be coming undone all around you. One moment you are basking in the sunshine of God’s love – and the next moment you find yourself in the midst of a raging storm! What happened?! Did God take a nap? Did He forget about you? Did He have better things to do?
All you know for sure is trouble has surrounded you… and you feel all alone.
I don’t really know why we expect our Christian lives to be all “sunshine and lollipops” but it always seems to catch us off guard when life takes a turn for the worse. But it really shouldn’t. Jesus told us it would be this way: “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) And Peter warned us: “Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you…” (1 Peter 4:12) And James offers this nugget: “When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”
Well, it sure doesn’t seem that way! It seems more like a trainwreck than a triumph. More like a great time to panic than to proclaim God’s praises.
So, what’s the point? Why in the world do we have trouble when we are supposed to be IN the Hands of God, and under His Personal care?
I could give you several good reasons. Logical reasons. Truth to apply. Steps to take. Lessons to be learned…
But, today, I want to offer something that sometimes we forget… even though the Psalms offer us a lot of insight.
Sometimes, we forget that God wants our honesty. He wants us to express how we really feel. He wants us to take our pain and bring it straight to Him. Warts and all.
That is what we see so often in the Psalms. Complaints to God. Doubts expressed to God. Fears to God. Anger to God. Disappointment to God.
Honest to God!
It is entirely possible that we go through tough circumstances because we need an honesty check. Is God really the center of our attention? The focus of our hopes?
I have noticed (in my own life) that when the troubles come, I tend to complain to everyone around me. I express my doubts to other people. My fears. My anger. My disappointment – always to other people. Seldom, if ever, to God.
Shouldn’t He be the first Person we approach in our times of trouble? The Psalmist thought so. He openly let God “have it.” He expressed his raw emotions to The One Who knew they were there already. He opened his heart and let the cesspool flow.
But here’s the cool thing… Once the drain became “unclogged” the Psalmist began to see things afresh… from God’s perspective. With all the “nasty” expelled, the hope and the truth could flow back into his heart.
In tough times, I think God is inviting us to be the One to Whom we express all our darkest thoughts and feelings. He is big enough to take it. And He is big enough to honor our honesty with His abiding Presence.
And oftentimes, we find, that is really ALL we need to get us through.
Prayer Focus: In tough times, Lord, let me be honest enough with You to receive what You desire to give in return. Let me see You as the Source for all that I need.