Lament and Response
biblical resources in hard times
During the Coronavirus shutdown in April of 2020 Pastor Bob DeGray preached a series of messages on the Biblical practice of "Lament." This page gathers links to those messages in one place and provides some additional resources. We pray that this will be a blessing to you as you cry out to God in your place of pain and move toward trust.
First Study: Lament
Lament is the prayer in pain that leads to trust.
The first week of our series focused on crying to God in pain. Life is hard, yet sometimes we are reluctant to bring that pain to God. We explore the freedom we have to be honest with God.
Psalm 143:1-4 Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness and in your righteousness, answer me! 2Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you. 3For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead. 4Therefore my spirit is weak within me; my heart within me is desolate.
Second Study: Remember and Thirst
Mark Vroegop's four elements of lament
Turn (to God)
Complain (bring him your hardships)
Ask Boldly (that he keep His promises)
Trust (even when you don't know the why)
Psalm 143:5-6 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. 6I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
Third Study: Seek and Trust
“Even though I felt betrayed by God, I knew I had no choice but to look to him and try to hold on. My prayers were short, simple, and repetitive. I could only say, again and again, 'Jesus, help me.'”
Andrew Brunson, God's Hostage
Psalm 143:7-8 Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. 8Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for I put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Fourth Study: Flee and Follow
Mark Vroegop's Nine Imperatives of Lament
- “Arise, O Lord!”
- “Grant us help.”
- “Remember your covenant.”
- “Let justice be done.”
- “Don’t remember our sins.”
- “Restore us!”
- “Don’t be silent”
- “Teach me.”
- “Vindicate me.”
Psalm 143:9-10 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I flee to you for cover. 10Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
Fifth Study: Submit
"I have a 50 percent chance to see her live to be thirteen. What would be my “chances” to see her graduate from high school? Why, God, oh why, would you allow this for little Neti and her younger brother, Nathaniel?"
“Scripture does not say God owes us a long life. But paradoxically, this does not mean that we accept suffering and death with a stoic fatalism. Instead, God’s people lament.”
J. Todd Billings Rejoicing in Lament
Psalm 143:11-12 For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! 12In your steadfast love vanquish my enemies and destroy all those hostile to my soul, for I am your servant.