“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! Oh Lord hear my voice”
Psalm 130:1-2a

A lament is a cry of pain or sorrow, and the book of Psalms is filled with them. As many as one third of the Psalms are laments – like Psalm 130:1 which begins, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!” Maybe that’s one reason we cherish the Psalms the way we do. They’re honest. They remind us that we live in a pain-filled world. And if we’re willing to listen, they can teach us what we must do with our pain. Aren’t the Psalms one of the first places you turn in Scripture when you face sorrow? (If not, they should be!)

Think of it! When God created a songbook for his people to sing, he filled it with songs of lament, songs that teach them how to express their sorrow! How different that is from most of today’s songbooks where we tend to prefer happy, snappy songs! But perhaps that should tell us something! First it should tell us that God knows we will face sorrow in this world and will need His help in dealing with it. Then second, it tells us that God wants us to learn how to express that sorrow back to Him in a way that leads us to the help He has promised.

That, I believe, is what the Psalms of Lament are for. They help us learn to cry out to God in our pain and then show us where to find the help He is ready to give. Have you cried any tears lately? Maybe not. Maybe life has been really kind to you these past few weeks. But know this. If you live long enough in this broken world, you will have pain. And it is in that place of pain that God is ready to meet you. These Psalms can show you how. As Pastor Mark Vroegot says in his excellent book, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy (which I highly recommend) “Laments are in the Bible for a reason.” And what is that reason? To teach us how to turn to God when life hurts.

That’s what we’ll be looking at this morning as we consider the Lament Psalms. Today’s message will be an introduction. We’ll be looking at Psalm 22, Psalm 77 and several others to learn how they can help us. My hope is that before we finish, you will not only gain a greater appreciate for the Lament Psalms, but you’ll learn what they have to teach you about crying out to God, expressing your struggles to Him, seeking His help and finding a renewed faith.

There is hope for the hurting in the Psalms!

Pastor Scott