Expressing Emotion through Song (and Psalm!)

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in You I trust,

Do not let me be ashamed;

Do not let my enemies exult over me.

Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;

Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.


Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;

According to Your lovingkindness remember me,

For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. . .

 For Your name’s sake, O Lord,

Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

My eyes are continually toward the Lord,

For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,

For I am lonely and afflicted.

The troubles of my heart are enlarged;

Bring me out of my distresses.

Look upon my affliction and my trouble,

And forgive all my sins.

Look upon my enemies, for they are many,

And they hate me with violent hatred.

Guard my soul and deliver me;

Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,

For I wait for You.

Redeem Israel, O God,

Out of all his troubles." ~ Psalm 25

Have you ever felt that you needed to hide your feelings from the Lord?

In times of difficulty and disappointment, it can be tempting to withdraw from God; to take your ugly feelings and stuff them down, assuming they are too ugly for Him to look at, or that He would be angry with your negative reactions to life's circumstances. The Bible confronts that fear, though, if we look at it as God's great story. In this Book we find so many others sharing their feelings with the Lord--from the dark side of the spectrum of emotion to the bright.

"The Word of God is my comfort.

It has been my help, my refuge, and my encouragement in difficult times. I have read through the Psalms more times than I can count and underlined hundreds of their comforting, reassuring verses. The Psalms express the whole spectrum of human emotion; joy, lament, pain, grief, and love. Over two-thirds of the Psalms are songs of lament, prayers to God amid difficulties or trials. The writers often tell God that they can't see Him and don't see the answers to their prayers.

There is so much human experience, human reality, and human emotion in the Bible, and they are all bound up within the story of how real people relate to God. In Jeremiah there are long laments and songs of sorrow over sin and God's discipline. In Hebrews there is encouragement, a sort of heart-strengthening pep talk for the new Hebrew believers that had become discouraged and weary in their walk with God. In John I see that some of Jesus' last words to His own disciples were, "In this world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Knowing that lament, struggle, and sorrow have been a legitimate part of the lives of all believers in the past has helped comfort me in my own life during my times of darkness and doubt. Ultimately though, the reason these stories and words are so poignant to me in my pain is because they are given to me by God. It is through His precious Word that He comes to encourage and renew, gently reminding me that I am not alone in my sorrows. His story reminds me that I am part of a company who has strained against the futility and darkness in this world. In real life, light and truth seem so hidden and obscure. In these times, God's Word truly is a  'lamp to my feet and a light to my path.'"                        ~ from The Mom Walk

God longs to hear the cry of your heart. And when there are no words, reading the Psalms is a beautiful way to get some of those cries out. I have found rest and surprising joy in pouring my own emotions out before God. I pray you will feel His comfort, defense, and joy in your trust, when you do, too!