Learning to Lament February 19-23

After experiencing extreme loss and pain, there is nothing left for Job to do but lament, mourn, grieve, express sorrow. He refuses to falsely incriminate himself and he refuses to blame or abandon God. But Job does not hesitate to express his anguish in the strongest terms. His lament is almost entirely in the form of questions. The cause of his suffering is a mystery. Indeed, it may be the greatest mystery of faith. Why does God allow people He loves to suffer? Job does not know the answer, so he candidly asks honest questions. He persistently appeals to God for help, answers, guidance, and mercy. From Job we learn to step into the suffering, into the circumstances, talk about it, weep about it, take it to God in prayer. 


Day 1       Job 3:1–26 

Reflect: What emotions does Job express? How does this deepen your understanding of his character? Is Job questioning his faith? What do you think he means in verse 25? 

Apply:   How does this text help you understand and process grief and sorrow? What events in Christ’s life help you see that He is sympathetic to you in your weaknesses?  

Pray:     God, thank You that You welcome my cries of pain and anguish. You know my needs before I speak, and there is no secret pain that I need to hide. Your amazing grace is accessible to both the sinner and saved.


Day 2      Job 7:1-21 

Reflect: What role does the concept of hope (or lack thereof) play in Job’s lament? How can Job’s lament help us better understand the experience of those suffering around us?  

Apply:    Do you see a sense of purpose in suffering as implied by Job’s lament? When have you spoken words similar to verse 11? What would you say is the purpose of lamenting?

Pray:     My God, I cry out, naming my complaints and heart-wrenching suffering, lamenting, yet trusting You to hear and respond with comfort and counsel.  You alone are my source of comfort, hope and help.


Day 3      Job 30:16-31

Reflect: How does Job’s description of his affliction, reveal his mental state? Which of his words resonate most with you? Why? What is Job’s thought process behind verses 24-26?

Apply:   What practical things can you do to support those who, like Job, are suffering and feel unheard? In suffering, what would you want to hear or experience?

Pray:     Creator God, You made me and You love me. My circumstances and experiences do not define me. Help me to bring everything in my life before you. Open my heart to You and to others, to receive help, support and love. Teach me to comfort others.


Day 4      Psalm 13:1-6 

Reflect: What does this psalm teach you about the role of lament in our relationship with God? How does it challenge or affirm your understanding of God’s timing?  

Apply:   Can you recall a time when you felt like your enemies were triumphing over you? How can this psalm help you reassess your situation? Why does lament often lead to praise?

Pray:     God, thank You for the example of David, who despite great suffering, trusted in Your never-failing promises and never-ending faithfulness. I choose to praise God my Savior!


Day 5       Psalm 62:5–8; Psalm 142:1-2

Reflect: What does it mean that God is your “rock” and “salvation”? How is pouring out your heart an act of trust? Why is it safe and comforting to pour out your heart to the Lord?  

Apply:   When trouble or suffering come, who do you tend to go to first? Why? Which do you want most often—for God to change your circumstances or to change you? Why? 

Pray:     Father, I pray for a heart to trust You in every circumstance. Quiet any thoughts that challenge Your Word. Help me rest in the peace and calm of Your company. Your faithful presence is my refuge. 


Put It Into Practice!

Week 2   Learning to Lament   

Reflect on the most painful season of suffering you’ve experienced and write out a prayer, poem, or a lament to God.