TLIC Psalms. April 27. I Utter My Complaint.

Read Psalm 55:9-19. 9Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city. 10Day and night they go around it on its walls, and iniquity and trouble are within it; 11ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace. 12For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him. 13But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. 14We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng. 15Let death steal over them; let them go down to Sheol alive; for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart. 16But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. 17Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. 18He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. 19God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, because they do not change and do not fear God.

Biblical complaint is the lost spiritual discipline. Scripture reading, prayer, even meditation each get their fair due, but without complaint are any of these really producing the authentic relationship with God that Christ died to offer us?

David’s complaint comes from a place of deep pain. He is facing a heartbreak beyond the usual opposition from his enemies, the betrayal of his familiar friend. David’s crying out to God isn’t only visceral, it is habitual – Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan.

But isn’t complaining a sin? Doesn’t God want us to just accept the things that happen to us in faith? No. God wants to hear our honest complaint. Letting God hear your frustrations, your confusions, your laments, your discouragements is one of the greatest acts of faith. Why? Because in your complaining to God you are acknowledging that God is listening – he hears my voice – and that only God can do something about the situation – the Lord will save me.  Complaint to God recognizes that the reality we are living in is not the reality we were created for, the new creation of union with Christ.

Rest assured our High Priest Jesus understands our need to complain faithfully to God. In joining his own crucified life to ours he is inviting us to bring our complaints to God, letting him know how we feel, yet submitting to his will over ours. This is what Christ did and this is to live is Christ.

Prayer. Jesus, you don’t want me to bottle things up, nor do you want me to recklessly vent my anger at you without faith. Help me to complain in faith knowing that you can and will reconcile all things to yourself. Amen.


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