Is It OK to Complain to God?

Is It OK to Complain to God?

Many people fell like that they do not have the right to complain to God. That complaining to God is wrong and shows a lack of faith. I think it is ok to complain, even to God. I was driving in to work today and I heard a clip of a Pastor saying how we should be happy, and thank God for our blessings even during the bad times. He made the point by talking about how David had a hard time a lot in his life. His King that he had only ever been loyal to, wanted to kill him. He had to live out in the wilderness for years, and run from the King just to stay alive. The pastor quoted a passage from psalms that praised God and thanked him for all Blessings. I do not remember what the exact passage was, but I do not think it was important, because there are a lot of psalms that have a similar pattern. The pastor went on to say we should act the same as David does in this passage and thank God even in bad times.

I agree with the pastor that we should be ultimately happy. However, David was not always blindly happy in every situation. David was a man after God’s own heart(Acts 13:22), so I think it is a good idea to look at him to see how to respond to hardships. Psalms is the most bi-polar book in the entire bible. A large amount of them start out with David in sorrow about his current state of affairs. Openly complaining about them to God. Then at the end he praises the Lord, knows everything will be alright, and he has great joy in the Lord. A few examples:

Psalm 43

Start of passage

43:1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy? (ESV)

End of passage

Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God. (ESV)

Psalm 55

Start of passage

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

55:1 Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy,
because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they drop trouble upon me,
and in anger they bear a grudge against me. (ESV)

End of passage

22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.

23 But you, O God, will cast them down
into the pit of destruction;
men of blood and treachery
shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you. (ESV)

Psalm 64

Start of passage

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
from the throng of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
who aim bitter words like arrows, (ESV)

End of passage

Then all mankind fears;
they tell what God has brought about
and ponder what he has done.

10 Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart exult! (ESV)

To be fair there are a lot of chapters where the whole thing is full of praise, but there are a lot where he is bi-polar about it. So I do not think as Christians we have to say that everything is alright all the time, and always be happy. It is a mistake to try to never be sad and never think that things are depressing. I think it is ok to say things suck, to be sad about things, to think that this is not the way things should be. If David is any indication, it is ok to even say these things to God. The key is to not dwell in that place. In every chapter that has David in sadness about his circumstance it ends with him saying that he trusts God, and knows that God is in control. He praises God even in the bad times, and is joyful about his many blessings. I think that should be our response to bad things. Recognize that it sucks, realize that we are sad, know that God is really in control, praise Him for his blessings, and know that everything will turn out alright. Pretending that things do not suck, does not really address the issue. I think that where we start in our thought process during bad times is not near as important as where we end up. So as I like to end with in these kind of posts, I am going to pray to God about this.

God, I have things in my life that are not great. I have wants and desires, that do not come true. I try to do the right thing, and many times fail. I feel sadness for decisions that have been made by me and others. However, I know that you have blessed me more than I deserve. In the grand scheme of things, my life is really good, and I am happy with it. I am amazed by your greatness, and how that you have always protected me. Left to my own devices, I would cause my own destruction, but you protect me from that. I pray that I can have the maturity to correctly assess a situation, but have faith in you. To praise you during the bad times. You are my rock, and you are more steadfast than I will ever be. Amen.

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