Cry out and come back to God
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?… But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.” - Psalm 13: 1-2, 5-6
Something I’ve often struggled with in my faith is guilt about joy. Because I often hear sermons, read verses and see Instagram quotes telling me to ‘Be joyful always’, I sometimes feel unworthy when I experience times of intense sorrow or distance from God. Those moments when I cry out and nothing seems to happen. The moments when I’m hurt, or worse, when I know I hurt someone else. The moments when I feel discouraged or despondent.
Then, I turn to Psalms. Good old Psalms, full of every emotion known to man. Psalm 13 stood out to me as I flipped through my Bible, asking God to speak. I realized the verses followed a similar pattern of many others in the Word:
1. Crying out to God with emotional transparency and vulnerability
2. Coming back to God with trust
Another favorite (and often quoted) chapter in the Bible, Lamentations 3, follows the same pattern. Jeremiah spends the first half of the chapter just laying it all out there. His brokenness, his disappointment, his feelings of hopelessness. Then, he comes back to God.
“Yet this I call to mind and have hope; Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
He cried out, then he came back to his Rock.
I say all of this to encourage you to cry out to God if you’re hurting. Stop feeling guilt and shame for your lack of joy and just lay it out there to the Lord, our Healer of Hurt and Giver of Joy. Then, come back to HIm with expectant hope, knowing that He is in control and works all things for our good.
Weekly Challenge: If you find yourself hurting this week, read Psalm 13. Cry out to God then come back with trust.