Weekends are for Worship: Can Worship and Sorrow Co-Exist?

Have you ever considered that church can be an uncomfortable place for those going through difficult times?  The joy (or expectation of it) can be overwhelming.  Where is the opportunity to lament and grieve and express sorrow?

Instead, we demand constant rejoicing and celebration.  We mask our pain with smiles and laughter, manufacturing the joy we’ve been conditioned to expect and display.

Trust in God is NOT always rejoicing. Worship is NOT always exultation. Being at peace is NOT always about feeling joy.   It is accepting the fact that we can trust even when our feelings don’t match our faith.

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5 thoughts on “Weekends are for Worship: Can Worship and Sorrow Co-Exist?

  1. I draw a distinction between “joy” and “happiness”. It seems to me that emotional states for the child of God range the full spectrum from deep sorrow to great happiness. The unique element for the Christian is that, even in the times of great unhappiness – grief, sorrow, distress – there is a peace & a joy that comes from the fact that God is absolutely sovereign and what we are going through is for some purpose designed or allowed by our Creator. I frequently ask the Lord to make me a quick learner because I’m all about pain avoidance. So even in the most difficult times, He is our rock, our tower, our source of strength and, in that, we find joy. Although I may not like to admit it, it’s probably in the times of greatest difficulty that our worship is deepest. Can the local church setting be difficult during the hard times? Absolutely. But, at the same time, the fact that our encouragement may come from within that setting (good preaching & caring folks) draws us to be there.

    • “it’s probably in the times of greatest difficulty that our worship is deepest.”

      That’s a really good point, Paul. Much as I hate to admit it, that’s my experience as well! 🙂

      The struggle I often observe is that the ones struggling miss out on the benefit of the Body because they feel pressure to be expressively positive – so they avoid it altogether. And some who observe the ones struggling tend to judge them for not being “spiritual” enough to be so expressive.

      I believe your emphasis on God being the center is the key to proper balance in all this.

  2. In a few weeks I will be sharing a message at a special church service for people who are hurting at this time of the year. My message will be a short one titled :Three Things I Learned watching my Wife on a Ventilator”. I am hoping that my sharing will comfort folks and help them.

    • Bob, that’s exactly what I’m talking about! Acknowledging that people grieve/suffer/struggle and helping provide comfort through the experiences of those who have been there.

      I continue to pray for you and Ann and know your message will encourage folks.

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