My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

by Clinton Bergsma, Amos Aid Australia – September 2019

Our faith maintains that Yahweh is loving, all-powerful and concerned about the marginalised.  However, these claims are inevitably questioned when we encounter poverty and injustice. Communities that have an integrated spirituality and the Christians serving them often face the risk of losing their faith when disaster strikes or poverty persists and passionate prayers go unanswered. This paper argues that the biblical process of lament is a proven way of holding onto faith when it seems like God has disappeared from the scene or has not acted along the lines of his promises and character. Lament allows us to throw our accusations and questions at God while simultaneously drawing us closer to him and the people we are trying to serve. It is thus a necessary tool for building spiritual resilience in the often theodicean contexts of poverty and suffering.