In some random past posts, I have touched on the idea of lament. Is it okay for a Christian to lament? Some think not. There can be a “put on a happy face” mentality among some believers; we must always look on the bright side. But the church needs to bring back lament and make space for it. Part of the problem is that lament is misunderstood as pessimism or devoid of hope. No. That is not biblical lament.
I came across several tweets, that succinctly clarified:
“Lament is not devoid of hope. Lament is devoid of illusion.” – @WilliamHLamarIV
“Christian hope does not mean cessation of lament, since these two often go together.” – Kelly Kapic in Embodied Hope, page 32 (shared by someone on twitter – forget who)
“Sadness and hope are not binary.” – @triedwfire
And here is one of my past posts where I discuss this issue: Quoting “happy” passages at people in pain. Jesus lamented – so maybe we should lament too!
Update, a couple new ones from twitter:
“Naive optimism is not the same as hope. The former looks at a cross & says, ‘Maybe it’s not so bad.’ Hope sees death but believes in Resurrection.” – @sometimesalight
“Genuine hope is not blind optimism. It is hope with open eyes, which sees the suffering and yet believes in the future.” Jurgen Moltmann