Can Worship and Suffering Co-exist?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Can worship and suffering co-exist? Can pain and praise inhabit the same space? Can we sing that God is good when life is not?

According to the psalmists, we can.

These psalms are called laments. As Chris Llewellyn from Rend Collective puts it, laments are full of the truth of what we’re going through, but are at the same time full of hopefulness.

Last week I mentioned the Rend Collective concert I attended.

One of the songs they sang was, Weep With Me.

Before singing the song, Chris said because we have a God who cares, and wants to hear from us as we honestly wrestle with the issues of our life, he invites us to come to him, and truthfully tell him how we are feeling about what we are going through.

God doesn’t want us to be less than honest. He’s big enough to handle the truth, don’t you think? He already knows how we feel, after all.

So we circle back to the questions I asked at the beginning of this post.

Can worship and suffering co-exist? Can pain and praise inhabit the same space? Can we sing that God is good when life is not?

Yes! A thousand times yes.

Over the past months God has taken me to places of sorrow through the lives of my friends and in my own life.

Just as the psalmist did, I’ve lamented. I’ve asked how long must those who love you feel anguish in their souls and sorrow in their hearts? I’ve asked the Lord my God to restore the sparkle in our eyes. I’ve asked if worship and suffering can co-exist.

And like the psalmist, our sorrow can turn to rejoicing because we trust in God’s unfailing love. That is the reason we can sing that God is good when life is not.

Are you in a place of lament? Lift your eyes to the Lord who weeps with us.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
    How long will you look the other way?
 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
    with sorrow in my heart every day?
    How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
    Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
    Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

 But I trust in your unfailing love.
    I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
 I will sing to the Lord
    because he is good to me. Psalm 13 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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