Exrpressing Our Emotions to God
There are so many emotions that we see in the psalms that we hesitate to acknowledge that we're feeling, much less to express to God. That's one of the benefits of getting into the psalms.
Psalm 88 expresses a near hopelessness. Life is dark. Where is God? Why has God allowed this bad thing to happen?
The Psalms offer an invitation from the Lord to bring our cares to him—exactly as we are.
I think sometimes we try to put a Pollyanna face on difficult things and we cite the right spiritual answers. We'll say, I know God is up to something good or All things work together for good. While those things are true, the psalms help us to be able to say Yes, that's true, but the realness of right now is that I'm miserable, this is painful, I don't understand what God is doing in my life and in the world around me, and I don't understand his ways.
The psalmists feel free to express their perplexity to God. They're not afraid of being struck down or of God turning his back or getting angry. I think that's the biggest appeal of the psalms. They offer an invitation from the Lord to bring our cares to him—exactly as we are.
Like a child going to a parent, we don't have to clean up our spiritual act to pour out our hearts to God. In Christ, we are free, we are as children adopted into God's family. As children, we can go to God—without perfecting our spiritual lingo—with our perplexity, pain, and confusion about life.
We can simply say Help me. Sometimes, that's the simple cry of the psalmists. They don't have everything worked out saying I need help in this area, with that specific thing. Sometimes, they're in such pain, they can just say Help.
The Psalms help us express our pain to God, knowing that he hears our cries.
The Psalms are in the Bible to give a us a full range of ways to approach God. They're not just for those who are happy and they're not just for those who are in pain. They cover the whole range of emotions.
The Psalms were written for ordinary Christians leading ordinary lives—lives marked by depression, discouragement, despair, frustration, or maybe even numbness toward God or anger toward others.