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Good Grief!

Aug 5, 2008
We can take a lesson from Charlie Brown from the classic "Peanuts" cartoon. When trouble, disappointment, or loss was encountered, a favorite expression was "Good Grief". When I first heard that expression from someone I remarked, "Grief is not good." I was wrong. Grief can be good or bad depending on how we handle it. Everyone will experience grief sometime in their life. Grief that is denied or stuffed inside can result in spiritual, emotional, or physical illness. But good grief can have many benefits. How can you experience the benefits of good grief?

First - RELEASE your grief. Don't keep it bottled up. We are emotional beings. Tears are a way of releasing good grief. God's Word says, "Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). God cares and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. (Hebrews 4:25. Jesus wept. (John 11:35)

Sharing your grief with a friend and honest prayer from the heart are means of release and healing. "Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you" (I Peter 5:7). The hands that created the universe and hung the stars in space also wiped away the tears of the widow and the leper. He also wipes away your tears.

Second - RELINQUISH your grief to the Lord. The prophet said of Jesus, "He is despised and rejected by man. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and we hid, as it were, our faces from Him. He was despised and we did not esteem him. Surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3-4 NKJV). Jesus took our sins, bore our griefs, and carried our sorrows. Relinquish them to Jesus through faith and prayer. He will redeem your loss. (Joel 2:25-26; Romans 8:28)

Third - REINVEST your grief. Solomon tells us that wisdom comes through sorrow and grief. He surprisingly reveals that, "Sorrow is better than laughter for by a sad countenance the heart is made better" (Ecclesiastes 7:3-4). Good grief usually makes one more tender and compassionate. Paul teaches us that the comfort we receive from God enables us to bring comfort and encouragement to others in need. (II Corinthians 1:3-7). Good grief many times motivates and enables you to reinvest what you've been through into ministries that will help others in need. It will give you a greater purpose, power, and passion in living.

Fourth - REJOICE even in and through your grief. It is an act of faith. Why? "For we do not sorrow as those who have no hope" (I Thessalonians 4:13-14). Believers in Christ have the hope of eternal life, the hope of the second coming of Christ, and the hope of the resurrection of the dead. Paul reminds us, "Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord" (Philippians 3:1 NLT). "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus" (I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT). Rejoicing will turn grief to good grief.

Jesus was spoken of as a "man of sorrows" who was acquainted with grief. That was not a description of his inner spiritual nature. Grief was thrust upon him by his enemies. He endured blows and curses but he did not exchange his joy for the sorrow that came from without. He was betrayed, arrested, flogged, and crucified for our sins. He was acquainted with grief but he remained the same. Jesus had an inner joy.

"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV).

Good grief? Yes. In your grief look to Jesus - He cares. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows.

Shalom,
Cliff Sanders
Eagle Life Ministries
About the Author
Cliff Sanders has pastored in a number of churches, ministered in prisons, has been a volunteer chaplain at a school for Native American children and the developmentally disabled, and a teacher. Additionally he is main author of the Daily Shepherd, a Christian Blog that offers short and meaningful blog-style posts about Christian living from Cliff's point of view.
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