Tim Hawkins, a Christian comedian, forgot what his life verse of the Bible was and incorrectly said that Psalms 38:7-8 was his favorite verse in all of scripture. Looking it up later, he laughed at the irony.
My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
8 I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.
Some of the lament psalms are individual cries of despair, anger, protest and doubt. Others are corporate laments pointing an angry finger at God for national calamities. Psalms 88, written by Heman is considered one of the darkest of all laments in the Bible.
Why are such chapters of despair included in the Bible that is all about God and the good news for all humankind?
Anxiety, frustration and anger are a real part of life in our world today. Winter and the holidays are the peak season for depression. God does not want you to fake your emotions to Him and He is not embarrassed to hear your raw anguish. The writers of the psalms fully express their despair to their God. When you read on, you notice the writer consistently moves from helplessness to hope in their Lord; often using the phrase, “nevertheless, I will praise You” or “nevertheless, I will trust in You.”
To refuse to grieve and protest to God is to refuse to face our pains and our losses. If you are holding back your feelings of frustration at God because it seems ungrateful or wrong, use the psalms as an example of God’s people sharing their despair to the only One who can truly respond with understanding, care, healing and justice.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.