I will be the first to admit; I don’t like to cry. Crying is not fun. It does not feel good. I would much rather laugh than cry. And honestly, who wouldn’t if you had the choice. But as Pastor Shane teaches, God created us with the ability to feel sadness. Sadness is a necessary emotion that helps us process our feelings in a healthy manner.
When we attempt to cover up sadness, we often turn to a coping mechanism that does not help us deal with our sorrow but attempts to displace it, only to have it return. So, in light of this, processing our sadness should be embraced.
No one is going to get through life on earth without experiencing sadness. We live in a broken world that has been war-torn by sin. We will inevitably suffer the sting of sorrow. Yet how we process it is the difference between healing and despair.
“19 I remember how I suffered and wandered. I remember how bitter my life was. 20 I remember it very well. My spirit is very sad deep down inside me. 21 But here is something else I remember. And it gives me hope. 22 The Lord loves us very much. So we haven’t been completely destroyed. His loving concern never fails.” Lamentations 3:19-22 (NIRV)
Life can be cruel, not because God is mean or not present, but because of sin. Sin contaminated everything that God created that was good. Yet God demonstrates His unfailing love and concern for us by redeeming the cruel and challenging moments in life.
We find hope in that God loves us VERY much! His loving concern never fails! In Genesis 50, when Joseph confronts his brothers, who sold him into slavery because of their jealousy, Joseph says these words to them, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…”
Joseph discovered that when life sends us a series of unfortunate events that are designed to sink us, God can turn those circumstances around for good. Believe me, when I saw, Joseph was not initially feeling that way when his family sold him away. Yet by trusting God, God worked out all things for the good, Romans 8:28.
The journey may not be fun or enjoyable, but it’s part of the process of healing. When we evade processing sadness, we are delaying and deepening our heartache.
- We serve a God who sticks closer than a brother, Proverbs 18:24.
- A God who “never leaves nor forsakes us,” Hebrews 13:5.
- He is “near the broken-hearted,” Psalm 34:18.
- God has promised that “those who mourn shall be comforted,” Matthew 5:4.
Jesus Himself wept and was overcome with grief. But ultimately, “we do not grieve as those without hope,” 1Thessalonians 4:13. We have a sure faith, and God’s covenant (agreement) with mankind triumphs over our sadness and even death.
In the above scripture found in Lamentations, Pastor Shane brought up a vital point, “sadness and hope can be on the table at the same time.” Even in your sadness, you can have hope that will carry you through your grief.
Our hope is in the mercy and love of God, and that does not change no matter what we are facing. Allow yourself the time to heal by processing your sadness. Don’t try to avoid it nor feel guilty for laughing and feeling joy. Remember sadness does not exclude other emotions from being experienced at the same time.
God is the constant factor through every emotion and season we go through. These seasons don’t change who He is, but He is the hope that will carry us through.