When hardships make God feel absent from your life, have faith in God who has dealt bountifully with you.
I. Hardships make us feel like God is absent (v. 1-4).
A. What is lament?
a. Lament acknowledges weakness.
b. Lament is a godly expression of grief.
c., Lament is not complaining.
B. Three questions help us discern lament from complaint.
- Am I acknowledging to God that I am weak and needy?
- Am I only concerned with my suffering coming to an end or interested in what God is doing through my suffering?
- Is this leading me to be focused inward or Godward?
II. Faith looks like trusting, rejoicing and singing to God in our hardships (v. 5-6).
“Let your afflictions be what they will, there is not one of you, but has more mercies than afflictions.
Objection: You will say, ‘Yes, but you do not know what our afflictions are such as you do not conceive of, because you do not feel them.’
Answer: Though I cannot know what your afflictions are, yet I know what your mercies are, and I know they are so great that I am sure there can be no afflictions in this world as great as the mercies you have. If it were only this mercy, that you have this day of grace and salvation is continued to you: it is a greater mercy than any affliction. Set any affliction beside this mercy and see which would weigh heaviest; this is certainly greater than any affliction. Therefore, your mercies are more than your afflictions.”— Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
“Occasionally, weep deeply over the life that you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Feel the pain. Then wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life that he’s given you.”—John Piper