In every experience they would turn to God, let him know what they felt, and ask him to help them through. If I am honest with myself, it is much harder for me to thank and praise God when I … March 3, 2019 appleheart. Acts 5:41 2 Timothy 1:7-13 . It can help us come to a new perspective about sin and the hope we have that Christ has sufficiently dealt with it on the cross. Monday, November 20th, 2006 at 11:39 pm in Seeds Of Faith. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Do I have to “fake it” and pretend that things are OK when they’re not? (See Romans 8:29.) Don’t be surprised that you will suffer C you live in an imperfect world. The closest that most of us have to experiencing relief from grief or pain through lament comes through praying prayers of confession and absolution. Those of you who are hard-hearted and never cry, God teaches you to cry through pain. But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. It is therefore essential that we never consider lament psalms to be magical formulas that ensure praise will immediately fill the lives of those who pray them. When You Feel Surrounded, Fight Your Battles with Praise. Four Ways To Pray In Suffering . Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. [8] Though generally categorized as psalms of lament, some scholars refer to them as psalms of complaint or psalms of petition. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. [2] Walter Brueggemann, The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1984), 52. Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too. In spite of the passing of time, it seems that God will do nothing to deal with the problems his people face. Goals after graduation remained pretty much the same. [6] R. W. L. Moberly, “Lament,” in New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Willem A. VanGemeren, ed. [11] But as the form of biblical lament indicates, those in trouble need to be steered in the direction of hope. It thus provides models and materials to be used by those who grieve or otherwise experience trouble. Praise His holy name. Modern Christians who are burdened by sin can similarly employ this ancient biblical pattern. For the last three years, I didn’t have enough sleep and rest everyday. To help us find our way to worship God in the midst of suffering, loss, and disappointment, this paper addresses biblical teaching about the nature and use of lament, particularly in the psalms of lament. For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. Psalms of lament make it clear that pain and difficulties come from many sources. OMF International's website, like most, uses cookies to help provide you with the best possible experience. [11] John D. Witvliet, Worship Seeking Understanding: Windows into Christian Practice (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003), 46–47. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God." I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Instead of praying like that, many Christians fall for the enemy’s lies and come under condemnation and suffering. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. Suffering can make us grateful for what we had or still have. 7 Benefits of Praising God in Hard Times 1) God Will Fight For You. They begin to question God and even become mad at Him. The psalms of lament—particularly the communal laments—also benefit worshippers by showing them that the psalmists could feel that God was absent. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. And let the rest of us weep with those who weep. This situation is unacceptable because it marginalizes suffering and those who suffer and because it ignores a great body of biblical material that was written to help people through difficult times. Give the glory to God and praise his power and faithfulness. Indeed, as the believing community acknowledges that life is fraught with danger and disorder, these prayers become “an act of bold faith.”[9] No matter what brings our difficulties, these prayers give us the opportunity to express tremendous confidence in God. Expressions of pain, fear, or grief are regularly viewed as symptoms of unbelief or treated as embarrassing abnormalities that should be politely ignored. (See Galatians 5:2223.) Such a psalm should be used in a case where sin is present but perhaps exchanged for another when sin is not an issue. Suffering can create an opportunity for witness. Be self-controlled and alert. Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. Services of lament are particularly needful when it becomes impossible to take part in a service of praise that contradicts personal and corporate feelings and experience. Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever. Third, praise discharges strength in faith, which causes God to move on our behalf. As he hung on the cross Jesus cried out to the Father, not with praise, but with words drawn from one of the lament psalms: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Praise God!”. 7 Benefits of Praising God in Hard Times 1) God Will Fight For You. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. Get the Lyrics How can we, like David, praise God even in … Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Ps 10:1). Complete transparency here, girls. Concluding that Joseph had been torn apart by wild animals, Jacob refused to be comforted and cried out that he would descend to Sheol in mourning for his son. [12] When we leave no room for lament in our worship we may well give the impression that people struggling with grief, trauma, and abandonment are either substandard Christians or that they have been left to plough through their difficulties on their own. The same can be said with regard to war and social disorder. )Praise God that He is love (I John 4:7-8), and that because of Jesus’ sacrifice you know what love looks like (I John 3:16). 1 Peter 4:12-16 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1. Job 36:15-16 You are probably asking the deepest of questions right now. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. *** Verses 14-16: “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. Rather, they can know that they can trust God to accept their feelings even when they don’t know what to say. God has given us everything we need in Christ Jesus. Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Why are you downcast, O my soul? Although the words used in these prayers are often taken from the New Testament, they reflect themes that reverberate throughout the psalms but are most closely related to the seven psalms of penitence which have been recognized from the early Christian centuries—Psalms 6; 32; 38; 51; 102; 130; and 143. Psalm 42:9-11 14) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) 2 Timothy 2:8-10 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Is there one thing you can choose to be grateful for? Sadly, for many churches today the penitential longing of Advent and Lent has been eclipsed by the glory of Christmas and Easter (and often obliterated by the glitter of commercialism). Ps 31:5). The Bible offers much guidance in lifting prayers of praise to God. Many things—the loss of a spouse through death, divorce, or dementia, inability to find a marriage partner or conceive a child, failure to find or keep a job, psychological or sexual abuse, physical pain, depression, etc.—rob us of the joy we desire. Suffering can lead a person into Christian ministry. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD" (Psalm 134:1-2). Students simply said, \"I can believe that,\" and added it on to what they were already committed to. While psalms of lament should be used when praying for the sick, to limit them to that function implies that those suffering from other problems are less significant. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. [13] Although the early church often reserved these psalms for those who were sick or dying, they quickly became an integral part of personal piety of those seeking deliverance from sin and guilt. How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” (Ps 13:1–2). Moreover they show that the experience of anguish and puzzlement in the life of faith is not a sign of deficient faith, something to be outgrown or put behind one, but rather is intrinsic to the very nature of faith.[6]. May you experience how deep and rich and wide the love of God can be in your life. In this life, we might never really understand why some things have happened. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! Even so, simply praying a psalm of lament does not ensure an instant solution to all problems so that God’s people will only experience praise. If I am honest with myself, it is much harder for me to thank and praise God when I … 1 Peter 5:8-11 All this will enable you, in a special way, to be able to minister to others. If you’ve ever read the Book of Psalms, you know that these ancient prayers of praise (and sometimes even anger or despair) resonate on a deep level even today. Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. 1. But that’s certainly not in keeping with everything we hear about what is supposed to happen when we become Christians. Earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, wildfires, and volcanic eruptions strike without regard for one’s religious orientation. But this is not always so. God is all-knowing and all-powerful. This article is adapted from a chapter in his forthcoming book, An Introduction to Biblical Worship. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” ~ 1 Chronicles 28:9 NIV When I was able to separate others empty insights and God’s truth, I was able to look more deeply into my own faith and how I chose to praise God through the suffering. You knew exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of. Studies remained pretty much the same. God hears our prayers, cares about our situation, and will come to our aid. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. The second verse states we praise Him "for his mighty deeds" and "according to his excellent greatness." So, no, God doesn’t ask us to praise Him for His own benefit. Since God is the great physician, prayers for the sick can be meaningfully incorporated into worship. Romans 5:1-5 In moments of struggle and strife, it may not be easy to pray. It is fitting for us to praise the Lord in the midst of our suffering. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. These sober realities require somber reflection. The biblical laments, however, exist to guide us through the actions. At such times, bringing heartache and confusion to God may be the only thing that makes worship possible. Suffering follows us because we are people broken by sin, living in a broken world. Praise. You can find God in the hard times by choosing to trust and hope when we can’t see the way. Jesus, You are the Lord of my life, and I submit to You and will never deny You no matter what happens. 3. Indeed, the “man of sorrows” (Isa 53:3) faced rejection throughout his earthly ministry and ultimately suffered the cruelest of deaths after his agonizing vigil in the Garden of Gethsemane during which he informed his closest disciples, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Mark 14:34). [4] The psalmists experienced all the seasons of life. I was sure by now God, You would have reached down And wiped our tears away Stepped in and saved the day But once again, I say "Amen," and it's still raining. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. [13] Of these, Psalm 32 is usually categorized as a psalm of thanksgiving rather than a psalm of lament. Stop. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. The New Testament testifies that Jesus, his apostles, and the early church faced major opposition and persecution. Romans 8:17-18 When the group has worked through the time of trouble by bringing it to the Lord of all mercy and receiving his answers, it becomes possible for them to return to God with words of praise. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. Walter McConnell directs OMF International’s Mission Research Department. [1] For an argument that distress is a dominant motif in the book of Psalms, see Philip S. Johnston, “The Psalms and Distress,” in Interpreting the Psalms: Issues and Approaches (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2005), 63–84. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. I have had days when I just push myself to get through. In 42:11, his faith exhorts him to believe despite his bewilderment at God's silence during his suffering. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1. Multiple times a day. No matter that suffering was God’s punishment for personal sin or the result of someone else’s sin, the psalmists acknowledged that life can be extremely difficult and that it is right for a believer to bring their pain, confusion, and frustration to God. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), 4:879. Though you may have read the psalms in the midst of other trials in the past, perhaps it’s time for a fresh look at how they can serve as a source of hope and comfort for illness. These questions show how difficult it is for many of us to come to God in worship in the midst of personal suffering. And even though we may not receive a speedy answer to our questions, the fact that we address God as the one who hears and will answer indicates that the light of faith has already begun to penetrate the clouds of despair. [9] Brueggemann, The Message of the Psalms, 52. Approach the throne of grace every day. People throughout the world are suffering for any variety of reasons—natural or manmade. “Music is an anchor to a greater reality than what we’re feeling in the present moment.” As used in the Bible, a lament can be an action associated with mourning (such as wearing sackcloth or beating one’s breast) or a poetic or musical composition (e.g., a dirge) that would be recited or sung during a period of mourning. When you stop worrying and trying to fix it all on your own, you allow the space for God to step in. This common reaction is deceptive, as it downplays our personal experience of pain and contradicts the biblical testimony of how the saints of old and the Christ responded to their troubles. One reason he does this is so that we can comfort others who are in affliction with the comfort by which we were comforted by God. Copyright © 2005-2021 Faith And Marriage Ministries. It is our way of entreating him for mercy in times of difficulty. Believers must also respond to suffering by rejoicing in it. [14] Shevuot 15b; Rambam, Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 11:12. His final words were likewise drawn from a psalm of lament: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46; cf.

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