Get your Bibles. All right, just everybody get your Bibles. First Thessalonians chapter four. That's where we're going to start. We're going to be all over the place this morning in the Word of God. First Thessalonians chapter four is where we're beginning. If you didn't bring a Bible, we want you to have one in your hands. You'll see under the chair in front of you is a Bible, grab that Bible so you can follow along in the Word of God for yourself. First Thessalonians chapter four, page 987 in that Bible, if you don't have one for yourself, this morning.
I’m going to pray and we are going to ask for God's goodness to be here with us and to help me walk. Let's pray. Jesus, You're the faithful one. And it's Your word that we're coming to receive. It's not just a sermon, and it's not just about singing a song, we have come here as a people to receive your word. Jesus, you have the words of life. We acknowledge and need you, and your presence and your Spirit to lead us. And so show us what's in your heart. Show us what you're like. And show us your truth we ask, in Jesus name, amen.
Talking About Sadness
All right, so we are continuing this morning this series called all the feels in which we're delving into those emotions that every one of us have at different points in time in our lives. And so, this morning is our opportunity to dive into the emotion of sadness and grief, which is the funnest thing to preach on all the time right? No, when you think about this, nobody really relishes the idea of talking about sadness, or thinking about sadness. In fact, I think it's probably the one emotion of all the different emotions that we do experience that we try to push off more than any other one.
In fact, you can think about anger, sometimes it feels good to be angry. And even issues of guilt and shame, we’ll start to identify in guilt and shame, that's coming in a couple weeks, we're going to be talking about guilt and shame. But we can find ourselves identifying with different emotions in different ways.
But the the emotion of sadness is one that we tend to push off the most. And yet it's one of the most powerful emotions that any of us really experience and so the Lord has a lot to say about it. In fact, this issue of sadness, because everyone universally experiences sadness or grief at some point in time in their life, it's really important to know how God sees it and how to understand it in our own lives.
Sadness Is A Memory That Lasts
So I'm even thinking back, listen, I don't have a great memory. I try to think back on different times in my life when I, you know, I'm just categorically bad at remembering things. I’ll be talking with my wife about stuff and she's talking about all these experiences, like this stuff that's happened with our kids or things that we've done and she can remember like every little detail of like, what was going on in our kids lives, you know, as we were having babies and all this other stuff and, and I'm like, I'm trying to think about like having kids and growing them, I can remember like, “I remember yeah, I remember we had the kid and they were just chubby and it was sweet.” And that's like, that's all I, and I can’t, but I don't do good at remembering details. So when I try to remember back on things, it's sometimes things are really fuzzy.
But what I know oftentimes when I think back, the emotion of sadness, I can think about. I actually have a memory going back to first grade. First grade. I was like, I was ruling my school in First Grade. I'm gonna be honest with you, I was rocking it in first grade. I was really feeling it. Pretty awesome kid and I had a good situation, I had a good setup, because I was sitting at a desk and on one side was my best buddy. And on the other side was the girl I was interested in. As a first grader, I know I had problems.
And so I just remember thinking like I'm at this maximum awesome space here to be able to crack jokes and be funny and be kind of cool for Bethany over here. And then just, I remember having, I remember just being awesome. And then midway through the year, the teacher changed the seating arrangement right at Christmas time. And I kid you not, I have a, I can remember in almost anything else but I remember first grade, about the only memory I have a first grade; I'm in my room late at night, time to go to bed, lights are off and we have a little Christmas tree with little colored lights. And I'm like weeping and crying because she changed the seating arrangement in first grade, I'm sad.
And I'm seeing, I can see the Christmas tree lights like through my tears. I see it. I'm like, I'm feeling this thing like, I was ruling the world with the seating arrangement and I can no longer rule it now. But I felt that sadness. And I remember that emotion and that experience. These are real things that we have, these are real emotions that we have.
Grief Is Important To Our Spiritual Formation
And there's a way for us to process this thing called sadness and grief and in fact, our spiritual health and our strength are actually tied to our ability to grieve. And what we're going to see through the word is that grief is an important part of our spiritual formation. It's an important part of where God wants to enter into our lives.
You know, Jesus is teaching what is widely known as the greatest sermon of all time, called the Sermon on the Mount. And he's turning the whole world upside down. Right? The kingdom of God is an upside down kingdom. And he's saying things and declaring things that the people have never heard before, in fact, to this day are so radically countercultural. And Jesus makes this amazing statement that you almost can't even begin to get your head around in Matthew chapter five, verse four, he says:
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Blessed are those who mourn. So Jesus is looking with clarity into the eyes of thousands of people, to be able to say, your life, you will be blessed if you will be willing to mourn and the promise from your morning is I'm going to bring you comfort.
But as you look at the term actually “blessed”, what he's saying is you're going to do well in fact, you will have gladness or happiness you will be happy or glad if you're a person who mourns.
Now when we think of happiness and mourning, those two feel like totally diametrically opposed. Not in the kingdom. What Jesus is going to say is, “Enter into the morning because there is comfort from a king that is coming. There's a blessing that will come if you're willing to embrace and understand and know the goodness and the comfort and the kindness of God in the midst of our sadness.”
Grieve With Hope
And that as we trust Him, there is a hope that's going to arise from that place of mourning. You look there in your Bible at First Thessalonians chapter four. This is a scripture often, as I've had an opportunity to partner with many families during funerals, to be able to sit in and try to understand the emotion that you're walking through. And First Thessalonians chapter four, this is Paul writing to a church in the city of Thessalonica. And here's what he says:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep.”
See, he’s speaking of those who have passed away.
“That you may not grieve as others who, as others do, who have no hope.”
So with clarity, Paul is not saying you shouldn't grieve. If you're a person of faith, there should be no grieving in your life. That's not what Paul is saying. What he's actually saying is, as you enter into the season or moment or a place of grieving, we’re going to grieve but we as followers of Jesus don't have to grieve apart from a place of hope, or without hope.
We can grieve, but we're going to do our grieving with the glimmer of hope. How do we do that? Look in verse 14:
“For since we believe that Jesus died, and he rose again, even so through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this, we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive who are left until the coming of the Lord will not proceed those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven, with a cry of command and with the voice of an archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God (which we just so beautifully sang) and the dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive who are left will be caught up in the air together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the year and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.”
What Paul is doing is pointing to the reality that we will see grief and sadness, there is that experience of loss will be common to the human experience, but we don't have to go without a spirit of hope. That God is providing a way for us to have a light, if you will, at the end of the tunnel. We know that loss is inevitable, but hopeful grieving is the choice that's being put in front of us, right?
Refusing to Grieve
Because when we experience loss, we have to choose then how we begin to process what's in front of us and many of us choose not to grieve. We choose not to go, we think or feel that either grieving is an expression of a lack of faith, or the sadness is a lack of trust, or that it's an expression of weakness and ultimately in our culture, because this issue arises in a way that we feel like it's somehow weakness or wrong or a lack of faith, then we tend to push it off. And when we refuse to grieve, we do so at our own detriment. We do so at our own peril.
You can think on, you know, you go through life and you have different experiences, one of the heaviest, maybe hardest experiences my wife and I have ever had the, if you will, opportunity or the moment to walk through we have four kids, we love our kids, they're amazing. During the pregnancy of our third child, my wife had a sense, if you will, in fact, what I would say is she actually had a dream and sensed that this pregnancy might be leading to twins. And she kind of continued to have the sense and so she journaled about it.
We would talk about it, and I honestly, I remember thinking, “that's kind of crazy talk.” Because we don't have twins in my family history. She doesn't have twins in her family history. And I kinda was just thinking, “I think this is just wishful thinking.” Because my wife just loves babies. It's like her favorite thing in the world was having babies. And in fact, if it weren't for me, we'd have about 12 by now. All right, and just being candid, we joke all the time. It's like if I didn't say, “Hey, no.” Then I mean, we’d just keep having kids because my wife treasured it so much.
So when she's thinking, “I really think that there's something with twins with this pregnancy.” Hadn't had that for our first two pregnancies, she felt this way with the other, and I just thought like, “Man, you just like babies.” But there was something more to it and so there was actually even a sense of joy and hopefulness as we were walking through that. And of course, as a father, I was thinking, “Twins, okay, that takes some work and dollars.” You know, just you as you think through that, right? And you guys, anyone that's had twins, you know this right?
And so as we came, so we come to our time to just sit down with the doctor and find out what's going on with this pregnancy and we're in the room and the doctor comes and begins to scan my wife's belly. And in a moment, the doctor says, “Hey, there's not one, there's two.” And, and I'm just honest, I'm, I can't believe it. I really can't for this moment, I'm stunned because the Lord had told essentially, the Lord told my wife we were going to have twins. And there's emotion arises of excitement.
And then within 10 seconds, the doctor says, “Wait a minute.” And begins to tell us that one of those twins has passed, doesn't have a heartbeat. And I can't even begin to describe to you, and many of you have probably experienced this, he weight of joy, like extreme joy, and then falling to a place of extreme sadness. And I just remember holding my wife trying to catch our breath and understand this moment. And there's so many questions right in that moment of sadness that you have where you begin to wonder, “Lord why? Why would you even speak about this twin? Or why would you even maybe, why would we have this joy that was increasing in our heart as we're thinking about the idea of even having something like that in our family.? What do you have?”
And you’re wrestling through all of these questions and then you experience this loss. That loss that many of us experience and in that moment you can go a couple of different ways, and one of those ways is to try to press the thing off and not begin to think about it, or you can just go in and grieve. And just receive and just go, “Lord, this hurts. We don't understand.”
And I can tell you, really at the time, it was just emotionally walking through my wife was unbelievable in going through that. I'll just be really candid as the husband and I'm feeling this in some way but for my wife feeling that, for that, that life that was inside of her. That was a, that's a weighty thing to feel. And we went through a process of grieving.
Trouble is Inevitable
Loss and death, and tragedy, and trouble, all of these things are actually inevitable. Doesn't matter how much science or technology advances, it doesn't matter really how great our economy is doing, doesn't really matter what's happening in life, we can all face these moments of grief. And there's a decision we have to make. There's a biblical, healthy way to respond to these moments. And there are ways to not respond. There are ways that we respond that push away the directive of the Lord to us.
Repression and Suppression
A couple of things that we tend to do when we're in the face of grieving or sadness is these ideas called repression or suppression. And what we'll do is often is, repression is when we unconsciously try to block painful memories from our mind. We unconsciously block things away that have been really hurtful or painful.
Suppression is when we consciously try to block painful memories, where something painful, a loss we've experienced has happened, and we begin to try to push it away rather than enter into that place of pain.
I remember, I was, this is almost the most random thing I can even possibly remember happening to me, but I was, we were literally in a car with my wife and this thought came to my mind: there was a moment when I was a child, I had a friend that took advantage of me. For 25 years had not been in my mind at all. I had never crossed my mind, not once. And out of nowhere, this thing came to my mind and I remembered. And I just began to share with my wife. My wife to this day is the only person that knows that this thing that took place in my life, and as I began to share she had just begin praying over me.
The Sadness Pulls Us Near to God
Because when we’ll experience these places of hardship or sadness or loss, there's this tendency to want to make the discomfort go away. And yet we have a God of the universe saying, “This sadness is meant to pull you in to this place near to me, but you've got to be willing to acknowledge it and see it, to call it what it is.” To say the loss is a loss or to say to him, “I’m really hurt. I'm really disappointed or even, I'm really angry.”
And those are some other emotions we're going to get to as we do this series. But those feelings of repression or suppression often arise trying to put the thing away rather than allowing our heart to grieve. The sadness is meant to bring us to this place, right?
The only healthy response to loss no matter what the loss is, whether it's through a death or loss of a relationship or loss of a job or loss of your health or even the feeling of a loss of innocence or loss in your finances, the only actual healthy response is to grieve. Meaning we don't get past our sorrow without going through our sorrow. You can through that up on the screen. We're not going to get past our sorrow until we go through it.
Meaning that if God has beautiful promises on the other side of our sorrow, if God has goodness, if you will, as Jesus with his own words said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” - if there is comfort on the other side, means we've got to be willing to mourn and go through it, and to enter into it.
The Story of Lazarus
He showed us that, Jesus Himself showed us that right? If you know the story of his friend Lazarus who dies, and four days later Jesus shows up. He's aware that Lazarus is sick, but Lazarus passes away shows up four days into the seven days of, the Jewish people had a seven day window of mourning. And John chapter 11 is really clear, Jesus goes without question, four days into his death for the purpose of raising Lazarus from the dead. He knows exactly what he's going to do. He's gonna raise, he's gonna call Lazarus out of the grave.
And yet, in John chapter 11, verse 34, Jesus does this incredible thing where he says:
“Where have you laid him? And they said to him, Lord, come and see.”
And then in the shortest scripture in all of the English Bible, Verse 35, says:
Jesus wept, not just teary eyed or tried to choke back the single tear, but sobbing, weeping, wept.
Knowing the future, knowing full well how this thing was going to come about. But just like on that sixth day of creation, he's going to speak this word and life is going to come from the dust. We see Jesus, entering into the moment with his friends, weeping and feeling the weight of the emotion of the moment.
I think it's so powerful, the most righteous, perfect, manly, godly human that ever lived is in this moment of weeping. It's not an expression of weakness.
Luke chapter 19 verse 41, Jesus is walking, he's triumphantly coming in on his way to going to the cross. Verse 41:
“And when he drew near in Jerusalem, he saw the city and he wept over it.”
Jesus seeing the city, seeing the people, it says he wept over it because he saw that they were like sheep without a shepherd. Meaning his heart of compassion, He felt a sadness for the people scurrying around with no leader. And He lamented in his heart, that they would have a shepherd to cover them.
Jesus weeps, why does he weep? Because God designed us to. He designed us to go to that place. Why? Because that's what God does. That's what God does.
Genesis chapter 6, verse 5:
“The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time and the Lord was grieved that he made man on the earth and his heart was filled with pain.”
So just capture this for the moment, the God of the universe, experiencing this emotion of grief and sadness, and pain. Right, God creating You and I, in his image to fully reflect His glory and to be an expression of all his goodness, and then it's broken and lost, the sense of loss. These people that were meant to fully receive the love of God and to fully reciprocate that love and the thing is broken and lost. And there's a grieving that's going on in the heart of God at that loss.
It’s Not Wrong to Be Sad
And the tendency is to think that when we're going through losses in life, that maybe God is aloof and that he's standing off in a distance and that he's disconnected or unaffected, or he's waiting for us to get our ourselves together so that we can get back on this faith journey. That if you could go ahead and pull yourself up out of your sadness, so we can go ahead and move on in life.
And there's this tendency, I think, maybe even in the church, that it's wrong to be sad. We don't see anything actually in the Scripture calling to that. In fact, I think we see the exact opposite. That's what we see.
God isn't disgusted with our weakness. He isn't wondering when are we just going to buck up and get over it? You won't find anywhere in the scripture where it says real men don't cry, I don't care what the bumper sticker says. It's not in God's heart.
God Enters Into Our Grief
And the truth is he not only calls us to be a people who grieve, but he actually enters into our grief. Psalm 34:
“The Lord is near, He's near to the brokenhearted and he saves the crushed in spirit.”
You want to hear the motivation of God, when we find ourselves in a place of sadness, is that He wants to come right into it. Be right up next to it. He's present in our grief when we draw near to Him, when we have loss, when we need to have courage to be able to trust.
We Are Encouraged To Lament
In fact, we'll see throughout the Scripture, there's actually an encouragement to lament. To say that thing out loud, right. Lamenting is that passionate expression of grief to God. I'm crying out to God, right. I may go out in the middle of nowhere and be able to shout and say the things that are going on inside of me to God, maybe I weep, maybe I yell, maybe I question, maybe I struggle, but I'm being honest with the Lord about my emotions.
Complaining to God is Worship
And we tend to maybe think that, “Well, that sounds sinful to go, if you're yelling and screaming it, you're trying to talk to God about your emotions, it feels a little bit sinful.” But that's actually not true, not according to the word because actually complaining to God is an act of worship. I want you to hear that. Complaining, bringing your stuff to God is worship. Now, complaining about God is where we sin. And there's a lot of that that can take place. Right? Right? That's the easiest thing to do.
Often when we're looking to blame someone in the middle of our sadness, is we can complain about God and that's where we get broken. But complaining to him and being real to him with our emotions, that's what we see all throughout the Scripture. It's okay to struggle with God and ask the questions in the grief. Right?
Psalms of Struggle
The book of Psalms, right, the center piece of worship, if you will, from the Word of God. Psalms, 150 different songs of worship, varying expressions of praise and honor. 65 of the 150 Psalms, 40% of this book of the Bible calling people to a place of worship, are people struggling with God, questioning, wrestling with God in their loss. 40% calling out.
But when they took their emotion to God, they begin to see hope. They begin to see his goodness.
The Book of Grief
There’s actually an entire book of the Bible that's written with the issue of grief, it’s called Lamentations. It's a book of lamenting.
It's actually the prophet Jeremiah, seeing the destruction of Jerusalem, he’d been prophesying about it for 50 years. Imagine speaking of something for 50 years and then seeing it take place, and the lamenting that's coming forward from that from that place.
Lamentations chapter 3, I just want you to hear some of the words so we can get it and then we're going to get a chance just to respond beautifully to the Lord. Lamentations 3 verse 2:
“God has driven and brought me into darkness without any light.”
Feel the emotion? Lamentations 3, 7:
"He has walled me about so that I cannot escape. He has made my chains heavy. Though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has blocked my ways with blocks of stones. He's made my paths crooked.”
The Beauty of the Bible
Right? This is why you love the word of God, this is why the Bible is so beautiful: because in it are humans being honest about their lives.
I think what's so amazing is somehow the church has been painted as to have to be this beautiful people that have everything figured out and we're all okay and we show up on Sunday and we have our smiles on our faces, acting like everything's okay when in many ways and in many times, they're not okay, and we're afraid to let people in on that place in our lives.
And yet, we'll see here the scripture giving a moment to lament and to grieve, and to be able to be honest about the thing that's actually going on. Because going through it is the place of healing and wholeness. Allowing ourselves to grieve, to feel our sadness, that's the path to wholeness and to being able to receive and hear the truth, right?
When we lament the promise is, God says, “I will meet you. I will meet you in that place, I will bring comfort to you.”
Grief Is For A Season
You know, you've got in Lamentations you’ve got 5, these 5 chapters going on and on and on, about the disappointment the prophets feeling and right in the middle of it, Lamentations chapter 3, you have these incredible verses. It's possible you've sung these before or they're in your house somewhere.
Lamentations chapter 3 verse 21:
“But this I called to mind and therefore I have hope, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They’re new every morning, greatest is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion says my soul therefore I will…”
What, what's the word?
“I will hope in Him.”
Today looks dark, but I’m believing him for another day.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It's good that the one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
There it is: Grief, but with hope. We grieve with hope because we know grief is for a season.
The Darkest Pain
If you are in Christ today, if you are a follower of Jesus, you might be walking through some of the hardest pain, you might even today, be walking through some of the most difficult circumstances you've ever had to walk through in your life. Here is what you have, the guarantee of the Father: “This is the darkest it will be, for you have light coming for you.” The promise is: you will be received with joy and all of your sorrows will be gone. There is coming a day where there will be no more tears. There is coming a day where the fullness of joy will be on display. It is the guarantee of the King of the universe.
And so, the encouragement is: enter into the whatever season it is with hope. Ecclesiastes 3:
“There's a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
So God and his comfort and grace, God through His people, will get us through this place to a place of health and strength.
Time Is Not The Healer
I know that there's a saying that goes, “Time heals all wounds.” I don't, honestly, I don't think you can just lay your foundation and your hope on time. And while it might be helpful to get away from an experience, I think the place for healing of wounds is bringing all of it to the Lord. He's the healer. He's the one who meets us in it. And I'm thankful for time but that's not our rock, the rock is the King. He wants to meet us there.
God Is Working For Our Good
We are able to grieve with hope because we know that he's always working for our good. That's often said very tritely in churches, cause the scripture’s not saying, in fact, Romans 8, 28:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who've been called according to His purpose.”
So the promise is, not that God makes all the bad things good, bad things are bad, loss is loss. What he's saying is that in it, God is working for our good. We may not understand it, we may not even be able to get our brains around, whatever we might be walking through, how it might be for our good, but we have an ironclad promise. We can grieve with hope because he is working for our good. We grieve with hope because we know that this world, this hour that we're here, is not all there is. There's a beautiful day coming.
And as we sang, there's going to be a trumpet that's going to sound as the scripture talks about. There’s going to an arch angel who’s going to shout and the heavens are going to split open and Jesus is going to finish what he started, without question. And healing’s going to be complete and the only scars in all of heaven are the ones in the hands of the King who took our punishment so we can be totally alive and free. I can guarantee you this.
I don't know why we didn't get to have twins in them own on this on this side, but I know this and this is the anchor that we have had, and my wife is lived in is that, we have a joy coming for us on this on the other side of this life. Total introduction to a powerful, beautiful addition of the Roberson family. And we don't know if it’s a boy or girl. All we know is that it is maximum joy in that moment. It feels like we've been great joy to have them here with us. But God had a better plan, and there is going to be a joy that we cannot even imagine on that day. That is the hope we have in Christ.
We grieve with hope, we walk in this life being honest with our stuff before the Lord, believing there's a better day coming. God has, wait, listen it's sewed up. It's ironclad. It's locked down. The fullness of joy.
This Life is As Bad As it Gets
If you call on the name of Jesus, you get the fullness of hope. If you turn your back on Jesus, this is as good as it gets. Listen, I want you to hear this with clarity, for those that choose to walk away or turn their backs from Jesus, this life is as good as it will ever be. For all that are in Christ, this life is as bad as it will ever be and you've got hope beyond hope, joy beyond joy, that we cannot even begin to see.
I'm gonna ask our team to come up, we're just gonna finish here.
A Bright Day Coming
There's so many incredible things that are all waiting for us. But listen, the most incredible of all the things that are waiting for us is just Him. Right? Just Jesus.
Revelation says this, that,
“Jesus Himself is lighting up the city.”
There's no sun or moon trying to keep things bright. All of Heaven is lit up by the Son of God. It is the taste that God wants us to have, each one of us. So can we just begin to say, “It's okay for us to walk through the valleys of life and grief.” In fact, it's not okay, it’s a call. Because there's a day coming that's beautiful and powerful.
So I'm just gonna pray, we're gonna pray then we're just going to finish singing again and having a chance just for our hearts to respond. Would you guys pray with me? In fact, if you would just put all your stuff down. I'm gonna ask that you just bow your head and close your eyes.
Lord we just want to be with you in this moment. You are our hope. You are the sole author of joy. You're the one who promises gladness. We can be in the midst of the deepest sorrows. And your promise is to come in and meet. And you show us who you are and you reveal who you are and you show us your kindness and you dignify our pain and our hurt. And I thank you God that that's who you are. And that's what you do. And your promise is that you will not leave us there but that you'll take us on that full journey. That wholeness and healing are a part of what you have for everyone that will trust you. So we just thank you, we thank you.
Prayer For Heaviness and Sadness
As I’m praying, I just, what I want to do is I want to just pray for a couple of different individuals. So I'm asking that you just honor, heads are bad, our eyes are closed. It's just between you and the Lord. It's not even for me, this is really just between you and the Lord.
But if you are right now, what feels like a place of heaviness and sadness, you find yourself in the middle of that season, I just want to have an opportunity to pray over. If that’s you would you just shoot your hand up? Thank you. Ok, you can put your hands down.
Father, I'm gonna to ask right now in the name of Jesus, that for every person that’s here in this place and walking through a place of sadness.
Maybe even, there was as we were praying this morning we were given a word, if you've had chronic sadness, or just sadness that you don't feel like you can get out of but it's pervasive over you.
Father, I'm asking right now, more than anything Lord would you come in and meet them, would you just be right there and would you speak. That the Lord would just declare his love and comfort to you.
Father would you give your presence and your goodness, I pray you would wrap your arms around every one in that place, in that moment, and just assure them, “Their sadness is not too big for me, I see you and I come near to you.”
And I pray that this morning would become the beginnings of a ray of hope. Just being able to put their trust and their hope in you. I thank you for them.
Prayer For Shame Of Grieving
There’s one other group of people I want to pray for and then we’re just going to sing. If you feel like you have been raised in a way where you felt like it was wrong for you to be sad. Maybe you were made to feel shame for feeling sad. It's possible that maybe you were in a church environment and you were made to feel like you were expressing a lack of faith by grieving or sadness. And you’ve been wounded and maybe haven't been able to rightly grieve because you've been made to feel wrong about that emotion.
I just felt like I was supposed to pray and ask God to just pull that wall down. If that's you, heads are bowed, eyes are closed. If that's you, just you've come from a place where somehow grieving or sadness was made to be a negative or a bad thing. Would you just be willing to raise your hand and say, “That’s me. Would you just pray for me.” Thank you.
Father I thank you that it’s an act of worship to bring our hurts or disappointments to you, and I thank you that you receive us, that you don't push us, you don’t stay at a distance, you don’t demean or speak against, but you come in to heal and to make whole.
I thank you that not one person in this room has to remain in a place of sadness. But Lord, I thank you that you also meet us in it, and you’re good. We bless you and we thank you for your goodness.
Would you stand with me, we're just going to finish by saying this one more time. Just be able to make that declaration to the Lord one more time. That even in the midst of grief and sorrow, in fact, we will sing in the midst of sorrows as they're rolling like a sea over us, that God you've taught us that you come into that place, and that our soul is well, not because of our circumstances, but because you're with us in it. And we can come to you in it.
Let's make that declaration and worship and then we’ll dismiss this morning.