Psalm 142:1-2 “I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.”
There are those Christians who would have us believe that we (i.e. Christians) should always be happy. The argument is that God has blessed us so much that our gratitude should always outweigh whatever else we are feeling. What a tall order. I’ve been a believer for 30+ years and I’ve had lots of times that I wasn’t happy. Does God want us to avoid negative emotions?
That’s not what we see in the Bible. The psalmist quite often lays his heart bare before God, showing God how much he hurts. Most of those psalms end up with a request for God’s intervention or an affirmation of God’s sovereignty, but it’s clear that the psalmist is expressing some real and negative feelings.
God can take our honesty. He sees all that we do and knows everything. We are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). So, it’s OK to bring our problems and complaints to God, to just tell Him when it’s been a bad day, that my head hurts, that I can’t figure out how to decorate Rosie Girl’s cake, etc. And the God who made us knows that we feel a variety of emotions – not always positive.
Yet, at the end of the day, when I’ve laid everything down at the foot of the cross, I am reminded of God’s love for me. Not that I should feel guilty for complaining. Rather, I remember that the God who runs the universe, who raised Jesus from the dead, is still taking care of me. That’s why I can be honest with Him. That’s why I can tell him I’m tired of this headache. Because it won’t overwhelm Him. Because He can see the whole picture. And since He knows the end of the story, He’s the only one who can really give me comfort and peace. When all is said and done, I’m not really happy, but I’m peaceful and I know I’m in the arms of Jesus and that He can handle my honest emotions – the good and the bad.