4 Things The Psalms Teach Us About Suffering
By Fin Sheridan
One of the most impacting things about the Bible is that it doesn’t shy away from the difficult parts of life. There’s nowhere we see this more clearly than the Psalms. They cover heartbreak, betrayal, sin, anger, doubt, repentance, grief – the full works. Life in a fallen world isn’t always easy and it’s in the Psalms that we find the words to help us pray, process and praise through those situations.
Part of following Jesus is discovering how he thinks about things – it’s about developing and growing the ‘mind of Christ’. That’s what Romans 12:1 means when it talks about renewing the mind. We begin to understand how God thinks and we start to try to think this way too.
The Psalms brim with these promises and ideas that can help us as we navigate the storms of life. Here are just four; why not let us know your favourites?
God’s words can give us comfort – Psalm 119:50- My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. “My comfort in suffering”; it doesn’t get much more obvious than this. This is how to get comfort in suffering – throw yourselves fully on the promises of God. Suffering will bring us life and that can give us some comfort.
“The Psalms brim with these promises and ideas that can help us as we navigate the storms of life.”
Sometimes, our perspective needs to change – Psalm 25:17- The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. How often do we panic because we don’t have the right perspective? So often the “troubles of my heart are enlarged” which means they seem bigger than they actually are. Our suffering can seem so dominant and swollen in our hearts and minds when actually, many times, things are not as bad as they feel.
Acknowledging pain doesn’t equal a lack of faith – Psalms 116:10 – I believed, even when I spoke, “I am greatly afflicted”. This is huge. So often Christians believe that acknowledging pain or suffering isn’t right and shows a lack of faith. Nothing could be further from the journey of faith, demonstrated in the life of Jesus. Garden of Gethsemane, anyone? You can believe and still acknowledge that you are “greatly afflicted”.
God isn’t afraid of our deepest thoughts – Psalm 62:8 – Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. At all times means… at all times. What do we do when we trust people? We’re honest with them. The greatest way you can show you trust God is to be honest with him, about your bad days and your good days. Why? Because he is waiting to be a refuge for us.