One of the things that I love about the Psalms is that they are real.
Not just in the sense that I am holding a real book with real words. Or that that they are real songs that have been prayed and sung for many ages. But the fact that behind the song is a real person expressing real suffering, real questions, real joy, real sorrow, and real praise.
I am comforted by the fact that not all of the Psalms are filled with joyful praise.
This makes the Psalms relatable, because life is full of real suffering, real questions, real joy, real sorrow, and real praise. As I go through the different seasons of life, I find that I can put myself in the place of the psalmist, especially when my soul is cast down with many cares and burdens. Reading through the Psalms completely destroys the false dichotomy between suffering and being a following Jesus, even though we were told that we will suffer (John 16:33, 1 Peter 5:10). In fact, the Psalms show that the two are inseparable.
Even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ cried from the cross,
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Psalm 22:1)
So it is okay to feel far from God.
For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. (Psalm 88:3)
And it is okay to feel troubled.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? (Psalm 42:5a)
And it is okay to have questions.
The truth is that our feelings and circumstances do not change who we are in Christ, or even come close to touching the assurance that we have in God’s promises. Satan, the father of all lies, would like you to believe they do though. But, those feelings and circumstances do the exact opposite.
As we immerse ourselves in the word, we are pointed to the reason for our suffering, and redirected to the certain hope that have in Christ, that one day all of creation will be restored. For God has spoken,
I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. (Psalm 89:34)
Our Father is true to His word. What He has declared will come to pass. And because of that, we will again praise Him.
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:5b)