by Rick Warren — April 30, 2023
From The Keys to a Blessed Life
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 (NIV)
Life is tough. The world is broken, and nothing works perfectly. Your body doesn’t work perfectly, the weather doesn’t work perfectly, the economy doesn’t work perfectly, and no relationship works perfectly. Life is full of losses.
As you learn to rise above life’s inevitable losses, you need to understand a couple of truths that will give you better perspective.
First, God doesn’t expect you to be happy all the time.
There is this myth that Christians should be always smiling, always happy, always cheerful.
But the Bible says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NIV).
Sometimes the only appropriate, logical response to life is grief. The Bible says you should grieve over your losses, including your disappointments, your sin, the suffering in the world, and your friends who are spiritually lost. God doesn’t expect you to be happy all the time. In fact, he wants you to be intentional in your grief.
Second, grief is essential to your health.
If you never grieve over anything, it means one of three things: You’re out of touch with reality, you’re out of touch with your own emotions, or you don’t love. When you love and you see sad things, grief is a natural response.
Grief is a healthy and helpful emotion. And it’s God’s gift that helps you get through the transitions of life.
Maybe you were hurt many years ago growing up. Maybe your parents divorced. Maybe you were abused. Maybe you were hurt by something somebody said about you. As a child, you didn’t know how to grieve in a healthy way, so you just pushed it down deep inside you.
You need to grieve that hurt. Why? Because if you don’t grieve, you get stuck emotionally, and you spend the rest of your life reacting to something that happened a long time ago and taking it out on the people around you. It’s unhealthy!
David talked about this in Psalm 32:3: “When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long” (NCV).
The bad things that happen to you are not your choice. But grief is a choice! You’ve got to let yourself mourn losses so that you can move forward to emotional and spiritual health.