Suffering Is a Part of Life
Human suffering, trial and pain have been part of our everyday lives since that horrible day recorded for us in Genesis 3. Naturally, we want to give voice to our sufferings. We want to talk about them.
Paul tells us that all creation laments about its current corrupted condition caused by the Fall. Creation “waits with eager longing,”[i] which means that it watches with an outstretched head. Imagine a child waiting for her grandparents to visit and she sits at the window with her nose pressed up against it, eagerly awaiting their arrival. That’s the picture of creation. Because of suffering, creation is pressed up against the window on its tiptoes with eyes affixed with intent expectancy for Christ’s return.
Creation groans for this day. And, so do we (Romans 8:23). In this sin-cursed world, we daily experience one form or another of suffering, pain, trial and discomfort. We look for a voice, a way to express the pain we experience.
We ask ourselves:
“Do I tell God about my suffering?”
“Is it ok for me to complain to God?”
“If so, how?”
The Psalms are wonderful expressions of praise, thanksgiving and, yes, even complaints. The psalms of lament give us a voice for expressing ourselves as we walk through this perverse world.
With the psalms of lament we can teach people how to complain God’s way.
Four Common Voices We Give to Suffering.
There are at least four typical and unbiblical ways we might respond to suffering.
The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself.