Lake Okoboji, 2013, photo by Justine
IntroEvery emotion we feel is in the psalms – from anger to grief to despair to joy to tears and back again. It is safe to feel all this before God believe it or not. however, in our culture we often wrongly tend to think we can only bring God happy, happy, happy. It is okay to bring God grief and despair and anger. It is clearly what the Psalmists do. It is not okay, however, to indefinitely stay there, but we move to rejoicing. But how?
How do I get from despair to rejoicing? Do I have to try harder to get there or what? No.
The big idea: it is only the character and work of God that can move his people from distress to rejoicing.
I. Give voice to your distress in the right direction. V1-2
A. Not to your circumstances or your ability to think you can get through.
B. David is not running to others first either. He runs to God.
There are going to be things in our life that will cause us to groan like David. Don’t think it won’t happen to you in this broken world. What will you do?
How can I fix it, and who can I call? Is that our first default, or is it to go to God like David does first? Do we really know him or do we want to tell others and try to fix it first?
II. Go about your business with confidence. V3-10
What does David do after he cries out in prayer? He prays then he is going to watch. He is not taking it back. He is absolutely confident that God hears him and acts on his behalf.
A. David is confident about what God opposes. See the list here on these verses. V4 why pray? Because God is not delighting in evil.
B. Confident in what God blesses and what God is for. V7. He has confidence to enter God’s house because of hesed – the hebrew word for God’s covenant faithfulness and love.
God’s grace not David’s performance is the basis for his confidence to enter before God with his despair. God has promises to keep to Abraham et al. So he can’t fail on you as a follower of Christ!
Someone is going to pay for our rebellion. Who is going to bear your guilt for rebelling against God – will you or the one God sent to die in your place? He died to bear my guilt.
III. Encourage others and yourself with rejoicing. V11-12.
David learned this family song of Psalm 5 he is singing from his grandparents. In the book of Ruth, Boaz ends with the song of Ruth taking refuge in God her savior.
Conclusion. As GOD’S people, there must be room for both grief and rejoicing. We don’t stay there. We like David move over time from grief to rejoicing.
Do you know God in this way? Run to him in your raw grief then watch. Do not get yr act together first or your emotions sorted out first. Run to your loving father who is safe to hear all the raw, unpremeditated prayers of his own. Because he DID turn his face on his own son for our sin, he will never turn his face on you because of your raw prayers that he loves that the Psalmists model so brutally for us. Run to him.