Grief Not Allowed

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. – John 16:20
griefnotallowed.newlifeIn our culture, it seems more acceptable for us to be angry than sad. Consequently, many of us stumble through life without understanding our feelings, completely out of touch with our emotions. We may be deeply grieved by a number of circumstances, but we don’t feel safe acknowledging our sadness. It’s socially “okay” for them to vent their anger, but not to explore and discuss the deep hurt beneath it.

When you feel sad, anger seems like a safe retreat. It causes your adrenaline to rush. It commands attention and demands respect. It allows you to stay in control, and it keeps uncomfortable feelings and situations at a safe distance. However your failure to grieve can actually poison you.

The Bible offers no precedent for us to suppress our grief. The Old Testament depicts many people showing real grief. The men of Israel would rip their clothes, sprinkle themselves with ashes, wear black armbands, and spend time in mourning. They would wail before the Lord without feeling shame.

That experience allowed them to express their emotions and then move on without the baggage of repressed feelings. When we don’t grieve, we stuff our disappointments and sadness, and compensate for them with other less-threatening emotions, and at the top of the list is anger. But Scripture gives you liberty to grieve, so when you need to, openly grieve!

– Steve Arterburn

To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness. – Erich Fromm



  1. Cyndi May 9, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I’m going thru something with my husband and I understand the suppressing of my grief but it’s only because I don’t feel emotionally safe to release things. When things finish being what they are and I’m alone in my home then I will give time and space for my grief. You have to honor those feelings and express them. You aren’t always given the time and space to do so but when you can, you should absolutely express them and admit to feeling them. There is no shame in that.
    Also, you have to honor how other people grieve. No one grieves the same.
    Thank you for the blessing of this post. Truly, you have my heart felt gratitude.

    • Doris Deleon May 9, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Thank you for sharing Cindy very encouraging.
      I lost my job about 3 weeks ago and this week has been the first week that I’ve started to feel a little sad about; I didn’t like the environment there but, I liked what I was doing. This devotional has helped me to express myself to God and allow him to help me to get heal in this loss even when I didn’t see or felt it in that way for the last 3 weeks, and that there is no shame in expressing my emotions to him. Thank you!

  2. Maria May 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you for this timely deposit into my soul. I am grieving a separation that will lead to the divorce that I DO NOT WANT. With the help of Steve’s book Healing is a Choice and New Life broadcasts and my friends and family and Church and GOD …. healing is coming but very very slowly. I have been grieving for 8 months now, and the sting is still there …. So thank you so much for this message to US in the grief process. Life is messy and beautiful and brutal … But because God is in this all the way …..I will grieve. Until it is over. I can do hard things …

  3. Richard Almy Jr May 11, 2014 at 4:13 am

    I am suffering my wife’s affair which she has been involved in for 9 months. She isn’t saved and I am. She moved in with him. I have a plan to get her back home. I’d rather she come home on her own but I’m at the point where this is my last option. I’m fighting for her to the end and have exhausted everything I can humanly do. She is 62 years old, taking prescriptions for being mentally ill , hydrocodones for pain and several other prescriptions. This bum has got her smoking pot, drinking liquor and watching pornographic movies. I am suffering. Would someone pray for me or offer any guidance and hope? Thanks. God bless you all,

    • Maria May 12, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Jill recently said on New Life Live Broadcast that sometimes we have to release the hope of wanting. I don’t know how to do it except as for me, I pray to God everyday. I am moving in a few weeks as my husb doesn’t want to live with me. God has answered my prayers. It is not my desired answer but I am moving on. I don’t know how except move my feet and body and mind to do the “next right thing”. The barometer of “Right” is in the Bible. I will pray for my husb (my enemy) and take care of my kids as a single mom and not return the anger and hate towards us, back to him. I pray for the Release of the hope of wanting. All day. I leave my husb and his girlfriend in God’s hands. I pray that you will receive wisdom and clarity from God as the what the “next right thing” for you is. God doesn’t ask us to hope but to trust and believe. Wanting our spouses is right. But when they walk away, and God says NO to prayer of reconciliation, WE might have to accept that. I feel your pain and sorrow. I am so sorry for your lose. So sorry. “The Lord is our Shepherd, WE shall not want” …. I’m not saying to give up your hope and dream because I feel the love and pain for you wife. Seek God. Has he answered your prayer? If so, let HIM finish this grand scheme of your wife and her boyfriend. As for me, I have felt the comfort of God in all of “this” … it is enough. When we sign up for this Christian Life, we sign up for courses in suffering. Most Christians don’t pass the course. I pray you pass your course in this suffering, because at the other side is graduation. AND I believe God will honor our grief and humility and tears. Hold on to who GOD is and what HE can do. HE is the only savior of your wife. HE is the only savior of my husband. I RELEASE THE HOPE OF WANTIING …. reconciliation and my marriage. I will pray for you to receive the very best God has planned for you and for you to “receive it” … even in buckets of tears. There is an end to grief and I can’t wait to have the joy at the end. It is promised. I can’t wait for you to have the joy at the end. I hope non of my words were hurtful as I’m not a trained counselor. Just another victim of Satan’s plan to destroy families. I believe this self destruction could lead to the salvation of our spouses. I believe that for my husband. Really it is the only thing that matters. That my husband accept the gift of salvation before he dies and doesn’t live in hell eternal. I release my comfort and “family” into God’s hands to accomplish God’s will for my husband and myself and my kids.
      Peace to you my hurting brother in Christ.

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