by Rick Warren — October 31, 2022
From Building a Better Life
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Romans 12:15 (ESV)
The truth is, life rarely goes back to “normal” after a difficult season. Hard times change people—and not just people but also the world around you. To resume life successfully after a difficult time, you’ll need to make some adjustments.
Four principles from Scripture will help you build a better, stronger life after a difficult season. We’ll look at one today and the others in the next few days. The first one is this: Expect to feel mixed emotions.
God’s people felt mixed emotions when they returned to Jerusalem after being held captive in Babylon for 70 years. Their city was in complete ruins, yet the first thing they did was rebuild their house of worship. As they finished laying the foundation, some of the people shouted thanksgiving to God, while others wept loudly when they remembered what the other temple was like.
Ezra 3:13 describes how their emotions mingled together: “The people could not distinguish the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people were making so much noise. And the sound was heard from afar” (BSB).
Maybe you too have experienced conflicting emotions when easing back into life after a period of suffering or loss—the loss of a loved one, a job, a home, or a friendship. It’s 100 percent normal to feel grief mixed with joy, and sadness mixed with excitement.
That’s why the first thing you should do is give yourself grace for the mixed emotions you feel—and give grace to others too. Difficult seasons, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, are often felt by everyone. So it’s important to be empathetic toward people dealing with conflicting emotions too.
Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (ESV).
Change is hard to get used to. God will often have you learn new habits and behaviors as he rebuilds your life. So be kind to yourself—and to everybody else—when you experience mixed emotions.
When you’re coming out of a season of crisis, loss, or trauma, it can be hard to imagine getting back on your feet again. But God wants to give you a fresh start and help you build a life that is better than it was before.