“I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord's mercy. I pour out my complaints before Him and tell Him all my troubles.”
- Psalm 142:1-2 NLT
There was a time when I thought that voicing my complaints to the Lord was offensive to Him. But when I began studying the Scriptures in-depth, I realized that many of the people in the Bible whom God honored the most, often poured their complaints out to Him. I love the depth of emotion revealed in the Book of Psalms. Those psalmists are real people I can really relate to. They express their anger, indignation, fear, joy, and almost every other emotion with honesty and sincerity. In Psalm 145:18 (NIV), David writes, "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth." We have a God who wants to have an intimate relationship with His people. For that intimacy to be genuine, we have to be able to speak to God truthfully. He knows what we're feeling inside. We can't hide anything from Him. So why do we try to cover up our negative feelings as though, if we don't acknowledge them, they'll just go away?
The Bible says that God called David "a man after My own heart." (Acts 13:22) It was David who wrote: "I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord's mercy. I pour out my complaints before Him and tell Him all my troubles." (Psalm 142:1-2 NLT) The Scriptures reveal that David regularly poured his complaints out to the Lord. Yet God loved him and honored him in extraordinary ways. God knew that David's heart was right toward Him. David didn't go around grumbling and complaining about how God was treating him. David took his complaints straight to God. And that's what we need to do, too. If we don't go to the Lord with our grievances, we'll end up going to other people. If we do that, we can end up taking unwise advice, or grieving others' hearts, especially when they feel helpless to aid us. We need to go to the only One who is equipped to solve our problems, and to meet our deepest needs.
I'm not saying that it's always wrong to share our troubles with other people. I’m saying that God should be the first one we take our complaints to. And after we share our heart with Him, we can ask Him, “Lord, who would You like me to share my feelings and concerns with?” This is especially true if we are complaining about other people. God might well understand our coming to Him with grievances about people, but if we voice them to others, He might consider it gossip, in which case He will not be pleased. Also, the more we talk about others to other people, the more angry and indignant we often become. But if we have that same conversation with God, we will feel a sense of relief afterwards. We can ask the Lord to forgive us for our grievances, and to cleanse us of all anger and resentment. And if we're being treated unfairly, we can ask God to work justice for us.
In Psalm 62:8 (NLT), David says, "Pour out your heart to Him." My prayer is that you will take David's advice, and open the door to a new level of intimacy with the Lord. Be encouraged with this precious verse from the psalmist's pen today--"I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to Him, and He answered my prayer"! (Psalm 120:1 NLT)
Prayer: Lord, teach me to pour out my complaints to You, instead of to others. Remind me that You are the only One who can really help me when I'm in need. Give me an understanding of how much You love me and desire to be my everything. Show me how to have a genuine and intimate relationship with You, and teach me how to please and glorify You in all of my relationships. Thank You that I never need to feel guilty or condemned for sharing my true feelings with You!
- J. M. Farro