by Brandon Thomas

Every one of us wrestles through the realities of a very broken world. Government is sometimes dysfunctional, seemingly beyond repair. Laws can be unjust, penalizing the innocent. Communities discriminate against people because of the color of their skin or their zip code. Chronic pain may be your unwelcome friend, visiting you each day. 

This world is not without its troubles.

How does the Christ Follower deal with his own downturns? How do we handle troubles that are not a direct result of our own poor choices?

Some options:

Just put on a BRAVE FACE!

Let’s just not talk about that…. Let’s dwell on the good things.

I must have done something to deserve this….

Throughout the pages of the Bible, we see another path:

Unlock Your Lament!

Entire Psalms are given to the LAMENT (ex., Psalm 69, 102, 137).

God gives us an entire book of the bible dedicated to Lamentations.

When we wrestle through large-scale brokenness, here’s how to lament.

First, Express Yourself.

Tell God how you feel. Authentically express your emotions.

God, it looks like this _________.

God, I’m wrestling through this _________.

God, I don’t understand this _________.

God delights in our honest communication with him. It’s not wrong to wrestle with God; it’s wrong to stop wrestling with God.

Boldly Pray, “God, Change This!”

You’re not wrong to ask God to deliver you from a storm.

For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:8 NLT)

Sometimes the greater miracle happens when God delivers us through a storm rather than from a storm. But that should not keep us from asking for deliverance!

Reaffirm the Relationship.

This element of your lament is crucial. In the midst of your prayer, reaffirm your enduring relationship with God. As you stare down the dire circumstances in your life, keep an eye on the character of God. Discipline yourself to restate the grace, goodness, and compassion of your creator. Allow him to comfort you in the midst of the struggle.

However you answer, God, I’m here. I’m going nowhere. I love you and know you have a plan beyond this pain, even beyond this life.

Finally, Rest in the Bigger Picture.

Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters—their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them (Revelation 6:11 NLT).

God is exercising far greater patience than us! Every moment God allows our broken world to exist, it is a testimony to his compassion toward us.

God has a plan beyond this sinful world. God has a plan for you in this midst of this sinful world. God has a larger plan!

Could God be preparing you to be a priest to a world in pain? Might your suffering qualify you to lead others to an eternal life in Christ? Is it possible that our Christian hope would enact large-scale, generational change?

Unlock your lament!