The encouragement is that it is okay - and even appropriate - sometimes to lament. Basically, it is okay for us to be sad or upset about something and let God know we are sad or upset about it. Right now, pretty much all of us are sad or upset about the current situation and the impact it has had on us - whether physically, emotionally, relationally, or otherwise. For some this is more strongly experienced or felt than others, but most if not all of us are experiencing some way we have been hurt or upset with what is going on.
I am very encouraged by the fact the MANY of the Psalms in the Bible include the writer, such as David, crying out to God with their hurt and pain. I think it helps show us that it is okay for us to cry out to God like that as well. Some of us - based on this present situation or other reasons - have felt big hurt. Like us, David had many trials in his life (including at one point having the king of his country - Saul, king of Israel - trying to have him killed), and he cried out to God about those things in the Psalms.
I would encourage you and me to go TO God with our hurts and sadness. Absolutely don’t turn from Him. Don’t turn away from Him. Go to Him with these things and cry out to Him and tell Him you are upset and sad or hurt. Share your questions and concerns to God.
And as you do, also remember. Remember the God you are crying out to - who He is: loving, faithful, and compassionate. Remember the ways that God has been at work and shown Himself faithful in your life in the past. And trust that, as Christians - those who love God and are called according to His purposes - God works all things together for our good.
For our junior high group on Sunday nights, as we are going through the book of James, we just recently talked about James 1:2-4 which says: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (ESV). As Christians, we can trust that even the hard things that we go through can be used by God to help develop up into all He wants us to be - mature as the people He wants us to be.
During that study of James 1:2-4, we used the analogy of chocolate chip cookies, and talked about the different ingredients. There are some that are very nice on their own - like chocolate chips and sugar. And there are some that are not too tasty to take a spoonful of - like baking soda or flour. And, the process of baking them involves a lot of heat. But it produces a good outcome of a delicious cookie. Much more important than a chocolate chip cookie is our life and being developed into who God has for us to be.
The Psalms that express hurt and questions to God, also, almost always, go on to express trust and hope in God, that even though the current time may be difficult, God is good and faithful. If we have a relationship with God through Jesus, we can go to Him and express our hurt and also remember who He is and trust in Him in our hard times as well.
(We can also pray for each other and encourage each other in the hard times that we go through. Pray for your family, me, and others to turn to God for our help. Pray for God to show you good ways to be an encouragement for Him to those around you. And pray for God to help us be a good witness for Him to others through how He works in and through us.)
Christian Waltmire, Youth Pastor