My take-away message from week two of Grief Share: Faith ≠ Happiness. (Hint: that little sign means “does not equal”)
When I say faith, I am referring to the Christian belief in God. And when I say Faith does not equal happiness, in short I mean that believing in God does not give us a free pass to Easy Street.
This is important in working through grief (specifically grief as a Christian) because many times when something goes wrong, or something (someone) is taken from us, the first question we ask ourselves is “Why would God do this to me?”
Am I right?! This question might shortly be followed by thoughts such as, “Did I do something wrong?” or “Does God not love me?” Or maybe even, “I am so angry with God.”
But we should’t be surprised about facing trying times in our lives. In fact, He straight up tells us to expect it!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” – James 1:2-8
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12
We are warned over and over and over again of the trails we will face on Earth. But He also tells us, “TAKE HEART!!!” These tough times you are facing are shaping you for my Kingdom. This thing that hurts so bad that it brings you to your knees is also bringing you closer to me. This pain you’re not sure you can endure is making you more resilient in your faith. And when you are weak, it allows MY glory to shine through.
Jesus tells us that in walking with Him, at times life will be hard. But on the other side of hardship there is healing. On the other side of sorrow there is strength. And on the other side of grief there is always, always grace.