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God Can Handle Your Honesty
By Rick Warren

“Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord.” Lamentations 2:19 (NLT)

You’ve just had an awful setback. You’ve lost a job. You’ve ended a relationship. You’ve failed in some way.

What do you next? Do you just grin and bear it? Do you tell God what you think he wants to hear?

No, the first thing you should do is to tell God how you feel—unload your pain. When you’re honest with God about your emotions, it’s actually an act of worship.

Job is a great example of this. Job loses everything—his family, his livestock, his home, and his wealth.

But the Bible doesn’t sugarcoat his response: “Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship” (Job 1:20 NLT).

Job grieved the way people did in the Middle East back in his day, by tearing his robe and shaving his head. But then he worshiped God.

Any time you experience loss, you’ll face four emotions:

  • Anger: Why did this happen to me?
  • Grief: What have I lost?
  • Shock: What’s going on here?
  • Fear: What’s going to happen next?

When you experience a setback, you need to express every one of those emotions. And God can handle them because he is the one who gave them to you.

In fact, the only reason you have any emotions at all is because you are made in the image of God. God is an emotional God; he has emotions. He can handle your anger, your grief, your shock, and your fear.

Job was brutally honest with God, and you can be too. Job said, “I cannot keep from speaking. 

I must express my anguish. My bitter soul must complain” (Job 7:11 NLT).

The right response to a setback isn’t to fake a good response. God never wants you to fake an emotion.

In one of the most difficult setbacks in the entire Bible, after Jerusalem had been looted and destroyed and the Israelites had been killed, enslaved, and exiled, the prophet Jeremiah writes this: “Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord” (Lamentations 2:19 NLT).

With God, honesty is always the best policy.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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