Hope and Healing: The Principle of Lamenting
“O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?” — Psalm 13:1-2
As Christ-followers, our hearts should be aligned with God’s heart. When something troubles God, it should trouble us. After all, God lives inside us as the Holy Spirit giving us access to the heart of the Father. I know that human strife troubles God; it grieves His heart. In Genesis, God was so weary of the condition of man that he wanted to start over. In the New Testament, God sent His Son Jesus to deal with the sins of man and to provide us an example of how to treat one another.
Our hearts should break at the racism in our world today. There are days that I want to cry at this sin. In fact some days I do cry. It is as if I am in a constant state of mourning. I ask myself, "Why do we treat those who do not look like us or whom we do not understand as if God did not create them as well?" Instead of going into a state of despair, God reveals in His Word that these moments should lead us to a lament. To lament is to express deep regret, grief, or sorrow. We should lament through words or actions; we should mourn and hurt with those who are hurting; we should share the burdens of others.
Like the Psalmist, we should cry out to God and pray for healing of the human heart, the kind of healing that can only happen at the cross. But the Psalmist wanted to know how long this healing would take. I empathize with him; I want to know how long our world must endure racism. It seems like we’re in the first quarter of our home opener, we’re getting blown away by the other team, and to top it off, our best player is out with an injury. You know it’s going to be a long day; so we ask, “How long, O Lord?”
The hymn Christ the Solid Rock should be our hope when we lament. The first verse says, “My hope is built on nothing less/Than Jesus' blood and righteousness/And I dare not trust the sweetest frame/But wholly lean on Jesus' Name.” When you cry out to Jesus, know that He is our source of comfort and is our hope for a better future.
- Have you cried out to God over the racism that exists in our world today?
- Take some time to write a lament to God.
- What has God revealed to you in your lament?
Psalm 35:17; Psalm 94:3; Psalm 40:17
“Father, as I cry out to You over the sin and effects of racism, I confess that my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness, and I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' Name. In His powerful name I pray. Amen.”