SPIRITUAL THERAPY

By Philip Yancey

Lord, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? —Psalm 88:14

I once wrote a book titledDisappointment With God. My publishers worried that it seemed heretical to introduce a book with such a title into Christian bookstores. In the process of writing it, however, I found that the Bible includes detailed accounts of people sorely disappointed with God. Job and Moses had it out with God, as did Habakkuk, Jeremiah, and many of the unnamed psalmists.

It seems strange for sacred writings to include scenes of spiritual failure, but this reflects an important principle. A marriage therapist will warn couples, “Your relationship may get worse before it gets better.” Misunderstandings must be exposed before true understanding can flourish. The psalmists do not rationalize anger or give abstract advice about pain; rather, they express emotions vividly and loudly, directing their feelings primarily at God. The anguished conclusion of Psalm 88 provides ample evidence (vv.13-18).

The psalms present a mosaic of spiritual therapy in process. Doubt, paranoia, giddiness, delight, hatred, joy, praise, vengefulness, betrayal—you find it all in the psalms. From them I learn to bring to God whatever I feel about Him. I need not paper over my failures; far better to bring my weaknesses to Him, who alone has the power to heal.

Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus;
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone. —Rankin

An honest talk with God is the first step in finding peace of mind.

 

Devotional forwarded to you by:

UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC

 

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