TWLL #43: Worship, Pain, And David's Process

Feb 22, 2024


readtime: under 5 minutes




As worship leaders how do we deal with pain?  When it all hits the fan, what is our way forward- especially when it comes to leading worship?

Here are a few thoughts from the journey of David- a man with a deep heart of worship, whose life was marked with deep pain.



So you're going through a harder season, or maybe a specific situation, and deep down inside you're not okay.

Now the weekend is coming up, and it's time for you to lead worship.  So you try to just shelve the pain, pretend everything is okay, and power through your set.

While this is completely normal and understandable, there's a different path available- a path David models well.

And it starts with not shelving your pain in order to worship or to lead worship.



When you look at David's Psalms, along with his story in I and II Samuel, you start to notice a pattern.

Number one, when David goes through something hard he expresses his pain.  He doesn't filter it, minimize it, or stuff it.  

He actually gives language to his pain- he verbalizes it.  And it often comes with tears, with wailing, with groans.

Why the tears and emotion?  Because David is allowing himself to feel the pain, and even embrace the pain- and this what you see in so many Psalms.  Phrases like "my tears have been my food" (Ps. 42), and "every night I make my bed swim" (Ps. 6:6)



The beautiful thing, as David expresses his pain, is that he recognizes he doesn't have to do it in isolation.

David weeps, David verbalizes his pain, and David groans...before the Lord.  So he's opening his heart, but not into a void- he's opening his heart to God Himself (Ps. 55, Ps. 22).

And then as David unloads his heart before the Lord- from this place of pain, grief, sorrow, and suffering, he worships.



David acknowledges and expresses His pain before the Lord, and then takes his sorrow and turns it into a cry to the Lord for help, for deliverance, for mercy...and then it's like he finds himself- in the cry to the Lord for help- declaring Who God is.  

Psalm 28 is a great example of this.  He begins by crying out to the Lord for help, and then the last third of the Psalm he’s blessing the Lord and declaring who He is.

Now David is worshipping God, in the midst of his pain.  Not after shelving the pain, hiding the pain, or minimizing the pain.  But after embracing and expressing the pain- from that place of pain he worships the Lord.



The big takeaway?  If you're in a hard season as a worship leader, you don't have to shelve your pain in order to lead worship.  

Instead be real with yourself.  Do what David did.

Acknowledge your pain before the Lord.  Express your pain to Him.  Cry out to Him in your pain.

And then from the place of your pain, lift your voice and sing to the One Who holds your tears in a bottle.




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