Summer in the Psalms - Emotion: Sadness, - Sunday, August 29, 2021

As we conclude the emotion-based sermon series, Summer in the Psalms, we set harbor at the emotion of Sadness. Typically, when we think of the book of Psalms, we think of expressions of praise, joy, thanksgiving and wisdom.  Not realizing that a good portion (one-third) of the most notably recorded psalms are of lament.  A lament is the deep expression of regret, grief, sorrow, or sadness.

Unfortunately, we have a tendency, to suggest that in God’s house there is no room for sadness, sorrow, or heartache. Our culture, community, and even our churches have been infiltrated by the nation’s infatuation with celebration, pleasure, and stellar events. Even in the most sorrowful moments we eliminate freedom, license, and space for lament. That is unnatural, unrealistic, and not the way of our Father.  In Matthew 11:28, The Lord Jesus with open arms, says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  If Jesus invites us to Him in our brokenness and our sorrow, we should be able to genuinely lament within God’s house, with God’s people, and with our feelings of brokenness and sorrow.

The truth is that we ought to give space and opportunity in God’s house for people to lament, to cry out, and share their sorrow, heartache, and pain. In order to be healed from our grief, we must feel the freedom to grieve. There are a host of scriptures that suggest that as God’s people we should feel the freedom to lament.  There is an entire book of the Bible, Lamentations that communicates how important it is for the children of God to cry out and express their deep regret, sorrow, sadness, and grief. As we look through the lens of our psalmist, when we fail to express lament, sadness, and grief, we situate ourselves in the uncomfortable and dangerous place of being overwhelmed, buried by the burdens of sleepless, stress, anxiety, despair and distress.  

Psalm 77 states that, 1 I cried out to God with my voice—To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. 3 I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah 4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times. 6 I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search. 7 Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? 8 Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah 10 And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” 11 I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. 12 I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds. 13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? 14 You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
 
In Psalm 77, we find three steps on how to deal with being overwhelmed by the burdens of sadness, grief, anxiety, anger, pain and sorrow:
Step 1 (v. 10) Be willing to ADMIT IT – you have a right to go to God in your genuine anger, sadness, and distress… denial opens the door to depression, but admitting where you are is freeing and will release you from emotional enslavement – being controlled by your emotions.
Step 2 (v.13) GO TO GOD WITH IT- the church should be a place where people can come as they are.  In the midst of their sadness, they should be able to seek the Comforter, Redeemer, Healer, and Way Maker God in the sanctuary. If you seek God, you will find Him. He can handle EVERYTHING! He can bring you out of ANYTHING! There is nothing too hard for God.
Step 3 (v.10-13) ENCOURAGE YOURSELF BY REFLECTING ON THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD - You have to remind yourself of what God has already done. Remembering how God has brought us through pandemics, epidemics, viruses, and all manners of dangers and diseases. If He did it before…SURELY, SURELY He WILL DO IT AGAIN! He will fix it, shift it, break it, make it, protect it, create it!

MYTH BREAKER ALERT!
Real Men Cry! Women don’t have to grin and bear it!

Unspoken sorrow only hurts the one sorrowing.  Silent struggles are sleep snatchers and stress and anxiety are murderers, but Psalm 77:14 (NIV) declares that, “You are the God who performs miracles.

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