Living in a world cursed by sin and death brings us face-to-face with the grim reality of life and its horrible trials. As people of faith, we can be convinced that a cry of despair and anger displays a lack of faith in God, yet God and His word show us differently.
The Psalms is one of my favorite books in the Bible because it shows the rawest display of emotion throughout the scriptures. On multiple occasions, David cried out to God about the things he was experiencing in life. There were times that he felt God forsook him and he told God this. Other times he felt angry because of the lack of fairness and he spoke up about it.
God has never been against us expressing our pain and frustration to Him; just reading the scriptures will show that to us. But the misconception that it displays a lack of faith is a very common one. It’s so common that the book of Job records the discourse of his friends as they give him wisdom from a place of judgmental condemnation, instead of seeing Job’s cry as an honest but godly lament. We tend to see strength as living void of emotion or distress. We feel that if we express to God that we want to know where He is, that we lack faith.
When David asked God why He hid Himself, it wasn’t from a place of unbelief, but of expectation. David knew of the great things God had done for Israel, and what He did for David, so He called out to God based on what he knew about Him. Psalms 13:1-2 is a great example of this:
“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?”- Psalms 13:1-2
See how he openly cried out to God from the depth of his soul about what he was dealing with? When you read the end of this psalm, you read a declaration of his trust in the Lord and how much He cares for him. More importantly a psalm is a song that the whole nation of Israel would sing, and this was the word of God, so God wanted His people to express their pain to Him.
Dealing with the death of loved ones; friends who become your enemies, people who set out to do you harm, and more isn’t easy. God never expected you to act like it was, He never called His people to relate to Him and talk to Him with false piety. I would even go as far as to say that if you never struggled with the character of God during hard times, your faith hasn’t fully matured yet.
In Hebrews 11:6 scripture declares that it is impossible to please God without faith, and the faith that pleases Him involved trusting that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If you have tears welling up when you think about your circumstances, you can let those tears flow. If you’re ready to scream the frustration of life at the top of your lungs to the Lord, He has given you access. But never let go of your trust in Him. Never forget of His faithfulness to you, and how much He has done for you. Cry out to Him because He hears you, and you are precious in His sight.