Your Question What do we make of the prayers of lament in the Bible and why don’t we engage them more?
We oftentimes want to “get God off the hook” and so we attach asterisks to what He said about His faithfulness to answer us.
“So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
Sometimes when we don’t get what we ask from God, we can think that it’s because we aren’t good enough or deserving enough.
Sometimes when we don’t get what we’re asking for, we believe that God is punishing us for our sins.
Sometimes when we don’t get what we’re asking for, we can believe that God isn’t listening to us or doesn’t care about us.
Paul says that each time he asked God to remove his pain that God replied, “No. My grace is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.”
God does not give Paul what he asks for because there is something more valuable than pain relief that God is working towards in Paul’s life.
Whether we realize it or not: we are reliant upon God every second of our lives. Every atom ever created, every cell that exists, was set into its place by God.
In these moments, we are drawn to our knees… reliant upon God… reminded of our smallness.
When we suffer and don’t find relief, we are joining in the sufferings of our Savior.
The answer to why God doesn’t remove our pain, trials or difficulties can come down to the fact that He is up to something… that He is using what we’re going through for His greater glory.
We have the choice to be participants in God’s work… …or to rail and rage against what He does in difficult moments.
God uses our brokenness to allow us to minister to people who share in our brokenness but don’t necessarily share in our faith.
This Week’s Challenge: Pray that God would align your perspective with His. Pray that God would use your challenges or pain to allow you to minister to others in need.