November 24, 2023
Tell God Your Troubles
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“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 (NIV)
After a long bus ride and multiple days at a conference on a large university campus in frigid winter weather, I became dehydrated. So I sought the advice of one of my suitemates, who was a nurse.
Still anxious about the return bus ride, I then expressed to my other suitemates that I had doubts about her advice.
“I heard that.” My nurse-roommate stood in the doorway. “If you have problems with what I said, why don’t you talk to me instead of about me?”
She made a good point. And how often do I do this same thing with God? I think of that encounter with my conference suitemate when I read today’s key verse, Psalm 62:8: “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” So often, I’m guilty of fretting and stewing over a situation, failing to remember that God has heard every word of my mental grumbling.
I’ve complained about God rather than complaining to God.
Why do I hesitate to tell God what’s on my mind? Perhaps I’m afraid I might sound like I don’t trust His care for me. And doesn’t the Bible say we shouldn’t grumble or complain?
The truth is we can pour out our anguish to God in a way that shows genuine trust instead of a grumbling spirit: Lord, I trust You enough to admit I’m having problems with this. I think You can do something about it, and I believe You won’t reject or ridicule me for feeling the way I do.
In a type of psalm called a "lament," David often prayed through his complaints in three steps:
- He poured out his anguish directly to God.
- He processed through the hard moments.
- He praised God for His goodness and power.
David showed a lot of humility and courage in admitting his true feelings to God. His relationship with God was deep, and he knew God held the answers to the dilemmas he faced. Like my nurse friend, who knew more about dehydration than the rest of my suitemates combined, God knows more about the diagnosis and remedy for our problems than all the collective experts on earth. Only He can fully fix whatever we face.
Now, when I catch myself worrying, I’ve learned to hold nothing back from God. I allow myself to tell Him, Life feels unfair, this is hard, and I don’t think I can do this. I say it as if God is in the room sitting beside me rather than overhearing me at the doorway.
And something beautiful happens. The Holy Spirit reassures me of God’s promises that He knows, cares, stays with me, and has the power to resolve what I’m facing, all in His best timing. If I revert to inner grumbling, the Lord is one thought away, ready to have another chat with me about His promises. He is so merciful!
God is our safe place. He invites us to trust Him enough to cry out to Him and tell Him everything.
Try it. Tell God exactly what is happening and how you feel about it. End your prayer in praise for what you know God can do. He wants the best for you, and He cares very much about what is happening in your life.
Lord, life seems unfair right now. I’m grateful You already know, You’re willing to listen, and You hold the solution. I praise You because You have everything under control. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 13 is a classic example of a psalm of lament. You can read the entire psalm in a few minutes (there are only six verses!). What was David’s complaint, and how did he process his complaint? What conclusion did he reach? What commitment did he make to God?
Choose something you’ve been worrying about lately, and use David’s outline to talk to God about what you face. We would love to pray for you in the comments!
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