According to the Oxford Dictionary, a lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. Synonyms include wail, moan, weeping, sobbing, or crying. One can also lament by passionately singing praises to God. We can turn to the Psalms for comfort in times of suffering and pain.

Many laments in the Psalms are prayers or hymns by David during times of desperate need, like Ps. 142, a prayer, or Ps. 57, a hymn of praise. Both are related to the same incident in I Samuel 22 when David hides from Saul in a cave. Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22 reflect a song of deliverance David sang when God saved him from Saul and all his enemies (ESV).

I don’t know about you, but I have done my share of lamenting in both desperate pleas and grateful praises to God. Sometimes I find myself face down on the floor, sobbing with a grateful heart for something God has shown me or helped me through. In all of David’s story and his pleas to God, we know he wasn’t perfect. He was a sinner, just like you and me. He made mistakes. But he learned how to put all his trust in God, look to Him for protection, and praise Him for all the times he rescued him. We can do the same thing.

Other times, like Ps. 139:23 and Ps. 19:14, we see David asking God to search his heart. This is a vital part of our relationship with God. In Luke 6:45, Jesus says, “the good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person produces evil, for out of the heart his mouth speaks.” How we live will manifest from what we treasure most. What is your heart’s desire? What are you treasuring in your life other than God? It takes time, but we can learn to want God over everything else. It is this type of intimate relationship that God wants with us; our part is to seek Him and the kingdom of God above all else (Matt. 6:33, ESV). Be still before God this week and ask Him to search your heart and reveal any areas you need to change or forgive someone.

You may be a person who speaks to God first thing in the morning, or you might say a prayer last thing before going to sleep at night. My challenge is that we all learn to think of Him in those times and between. The stuff in the middle of those can trip us up. Try to make it a point to thank Him or pause and pray, even for a moment, throughout your day and see how it affects your attitude and daily interaction with others. Not to mention how much closer your relationship will become with God as you begin to lean into Him more and more. God’s desire is you; our desires should be Him. Then we can experience wholeness, hope, and healing that only comes from Christ.

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