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  • Writer's picturePs Stephen

Faith and Mental Health - Jeremiah’s Journey of Lament

I am so glad that being made in the image of God means that he gave us feelings. We know God feels—his love, compassion, righteous anger, grief and joy are readily seen through Scripture as he relates to his creation.

Psalm 7:11; Psalm 135:14; Gen 6:6, 1 John 4:8, and Zephaniah 3:17

God himself laments and feels pain so he knows what you are going through.

For us, how we deal with emotions will impact our mental health. As Rebecca continues our series on Faith and Mental Health, we look at Jeremiah’s journey of lament. I like this quote from Ryan Higginbottom, “A lament is a prayer expressing sorrow, pain, or confusion. Lament should be the chief way Christians process grief in God’s presence.”

Jeremiah’s life and prophetic ministry was marked with lament. He embodied throughout his life a mirror of the lament God was experiencing over the disobedience and rejection of his people. Listen to some of God’s lament and judgment through Jeremiah -

"I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown…...I brought you into fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.” (Jer 2:2b,7)

God’s grief was Jeremiah’s grief. The rejection God knew, Jeremiah also knew. And Jeremiah’s rough road of prophetic ministry involved his own cries of lament and grief back to God.

"I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me." (20:7b)

"Cursed be the day I was born! May the day my mother bore me not be blessed." (20:14)

"Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame." (20:18)

His laments and others in the Bible give us language and understanding that, not only is it okay to talk to God about our pain, but that he invites it so that he can speak into it with comfort, hope and light.

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:21-23)

Don’t bottle up your grief but allow the laments and prayers to flow out to the Father who wants to speak into our pain with truth, love and hope. God himself laments and feels pain so he knows what you are going through. And allow others to join with you in your lament. They are a gift from your Father.

God bless

Pastor Stephen

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