“Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” -Job 7:11
Job was a righteous man. He loved the Lord God and served Him with integrity. He was not shy to share his deepest frustrations and pains. I believe this is the proper response when praying.
It’s okay to be authentic in prayer. It’s even healthy to grieve and mourn over situations that are unfair and difficult to bear. In the midst of our suffering, however, we must be careful to be reverent and holy. It’s not healthy to get bitter and upset because this will rot the soul.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
Job did complain. He was bitter. He refused to keep silent and spoke out in the anguish of his spirit. When God confronted Job, he realized his complaining went too far and repented in dust and ashes. Later, God restored Job all his possessions and more, gave him more family that he had previously lost, and allowed him to live for another 140 years.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28
“Perhaps the LORD will see my affliction and repay me with good for the cursing I receive today.” – 2 Samuel 16:12
God works for the good of those who love him. When we put our trust and faith in the righteous Lord, He will guide and protect us. Nothing will be able to separate us from His love. Thus, our purpose is intact and we have nothing to fear.
Being authentic in prayer shows God that you are trusting in him. It shows God that you believe he will guide and protect you. Our attitude in prayer will glorify God when we are humble and truthful. Our heavenly Father is good and wants to encourage us through our darkest storms.
Moreover, even if others mistreat us in this life, even if some days seem to be cursed, God knows this. He sympathizes with our weaknesses. He understands that our afflictions bring weariness to the soul. He doesn’t promise us that we will avoid trials, but He does promise trials will lead to perseverance and completeness in the Lord’s righteousness.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2
“Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” -Romans 5:3
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials.” -1 Peter 1:6
For Jesus had the sins of the world laid upon him. The Son of Man knows the type of suffering each of us experience, and even more than that. He had to endure the wrath of God for our sins. He who knew no sin had to become sin for us so that we might receive the righteousness of God.
Before he went to Calvary, he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. His prayer was authentic. He did not want to go to the cross, but still chose to obey the Father’s will. This genuine prayer glorified God.
“And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” – Matthew 26:39
This example in Scripture reveals to us that Jesus endured the same hardships we do in life. He was afraid. There was a sense of trepidation and anxiety, but without sin. This gives me comfort when I am anxious and downcast because I know the Son of God empathizes with me.
Do you believe these truths? Do you believe that God can give you comfort and strength when you go through various trials? Are you able to be more genuine now in your prayer life? Will you be honest with God and authentic in how you speak to Him? He wants to hear your heart. He will be there with you through it all. Let’s pray!
Dear heavenly Father,
Thank you for loving us. When we experience turmoil and devastation, please turn your ear to our prayers. We want to be authentic and raw. It’s important that we share our feelings when we grieve and mourn. But also help us to know you are in control. Do not allow us to become bitter and frustrated. Instead, to cast our burdens unto you, our Rock and Redeemer, our friend and Savior. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
© Chad Damitz, 2020