What Can We Sing When Life Stinks?
Sometimes we Christians think that if we admit to feeling angry, scared, depressed, or sad, then we'll be thought of as failures. If we admit that the world can seem like a scary, lonely place, people will think we don't believe in God anymore. So in our hymns and other church-songs we sometimes add lots of "happy" or "joyful" affirmations, just so everybody knows that we're still high on Jesus.
If, like me, you've ever felt dishonest while singing hymns or choruses with lines like "...and now I am happy all the day," etc, and if you've ever wondered if God allows us to talk honestly about our pain, then you should check out this article, in which Carl Trueman encourages us to recover the gritty, multi-emotional, realistic-yet-hopeful power of the Psalms for our private prayer and public worship.
He wrote the article because he looked around and felt that "the typical Christian church offered the broken-hearted nothing whatsoever to sing in praise to God on a Sunday; and in so doing, the church was failing in her duty to care for the hurting, the downtrodden, the depressed."
Give it a read...good stuff.
(If you enjoy Carl's article, you might want to read his excellent collection of essays, The Wages of Spin. )