We offer this booklet with the assurance that readers can deal more
positively, constructively and usefully with their sorrow by using the
help offered by our loving heavenly Father. Your comments and questions
In the text and in scripture quotations you will find the correct personal name of the Creator, Yahweh, and the given name of His son, our savior, Yahshua. His name, 'Yahshua' means 'Yahweh saves'. These names are used in several editions of the Scriptures and are coming into more common usage generally. The Hebrew term elohim will also be found; it means 'mighty being' and has been translated 'god' in most English Bibles.
For more information about the correct names or a list of other free literature you are invited to email or write:
Scriptural Helps P O Box 53; Holts Summit, MO 65043
When you came to this web page you probably expected to find better ways of dealing with the loss of a loved one through death. We will certainly try to give that kind of help from Yahweh's word; but you may have also been thinking of physical pain or the various other reasons for mental distress that we sometimes have. We may have sorrow because of illness or injury, loneliness, or other personal or family trouble. Many of the same helps apply to those kinds of sorrow as to our sorrow at a loved one's death but there are also other actions to take.
The third type of sorrow is remorse
or regret over something we have done which has hurt other people or has
offended Yahweh - guilt. We will say only a little about this subject.
This is the subject of repentance and we will leave it for another time.
It is appropriate to deal with the various types of sorrow together in the same article because they are often related in our lives.
In a sense ‘dealing with sorrow' may not be possible.
When a dearly loved one dies
there is nothing that can take their place or actually make it all better.
The pain becomes less over a period of time, but it may be months before
we don't miss them every day. One thing we must understand is that it would
be wrong to let these feelings for the dead detract from the way we interact
with those who are alive and with us every day. This is especially important
when a child needs the love, support and guidance of their sole surviving
parent who is torn by grief. See CARE FOR THE CHILDREN in Part
In any case, we must strive to deal with unavoidable suffering with dignity and honor. It is a good example to young people when a person bears their affliction with head held high. One young man who was paralyzed due to an accident said, "I broke my neck but it didn't break me." and he went on to learn how to help others in similar situations.
THINGS NOT TO BE SAD ABOUT:
Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
One of the longest titles of a country song has got to be: "I've Got Tears in My Ears from Lying on My Back in My Bed Where I Cry Over You." While some sadness is very normal at a broken relationship; you must come to realize that it is probably better for both of you. An unmarried couple where one or both are uncomfortable should not plan on spending the rest of their life together. The tears of breaking up probably won't hurt your ears any, but keep those nights of crying to a very small number. Get a grip. Move on.
If it is your marriage that's breaking up then that is another matter. DO SOMETHING about it. Get help! Take immediate action to avoid a breakup. Apply lots of love carefully and quickly and request the booklet, Scriptural Help for Our Family. Yahweh says "I hate divorce!" Malachi 2:16. Get help! Forgive! Call or e-mail me and your other believing friends to pray for you and your spouse. Solve the problems!
Losing their job can be a serious impact on a person. There are a couple of things to consider when you are terminated from a job.
If everyone was let go at the same time then you should not feel as much grief at the loss. It wasn't any lack of yours that caused them to pick you, it was a problem of poor management. If you were the manager who messed things up for everyone then you have some hard thinking to do. Resolve never to do that to people again.
If you were specially picked to be terminated, then search to determine the reasons you were less valuable than the others to your boss. These things represent your errors. Do not repeat those mistakes. You will get another job if you work on that task eight hours a day until you do. When you do, pray for your boss and for the company, get to work a little early, stay a little bit late, work hard, think carefully about what you do, and be friendly to everyone (especially customers) at all times. Ask your boss how you can help him even more. Smart employers try to keep workers like that.
Mark 10:43 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.
CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS: A TIME FOR JOY...
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven
Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to
them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to
those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to Yahweh.
Do not sorrow, for the joy of Yahweh is your strength."
11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a Holy Day; do not be grieved."
I believe that one of the greatest gifts parents can give their child is the assurance that the child has control over his or her emotions. This certainly does not mean being free from all emotions. It means crying when it is right to cry and laughing when that is appropriate. It means not having an emotion just because of what has happened around you or to you; but using emotions at the right time and in the right amount. It means also that we can use our emotions to move us in desirable directions rather than letting emotions take us farther from the kind of life we desire. It means being able to ‘feel good' more.
A person who has this gift (which anyone can master, beginning at any time) will be able to have the emotion they desire rather than any emotion that happens to them. This is one of the characteristics of a very mature person. Their emotions do not come from the television set. They may have sorrow or anger; but it does not arise just because of an accident. They certainly have peace and joy; but it does not come from a bottle.
Man has the ability to make the
best of his bad situations. Often, from the darkness of pain and suffering
the brightest light of character or accomplishment begins to shine. The
realization of the reality of death can spur us to using our lives to the
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
If there is a situation which
is making you terribly sad then do what you can to correct that problem.
To suffer when the problem is avoidable is masochism, which is usually
considered a mental disorder. Here are some actions we can take to remove
or reduce problems that we might have thought were insurmountable.
PRAY - SOME EXAMPLES
Look at the great success of King Hezekiah's prayer.
2 Kings 20:1 In those days [king] Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, "Thus says Yahweh: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.'"
2 Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to Yahweh, saying, 3 "Remember now, O Yahweh, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of Yahweh came to him, saying, 5 "Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says Yahweh, the Elohim [mighty one] of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of Yahweh. 6 And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.'"
You could use these Psalms of David as your own prayer:
Psalms 70:1 Make haste, O Elohim, to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O Yahweh!
2 Let them be ashamed and confounded who seek my life; Let them be turned back and confused who desire my hurt.
3 Let them be turned back because of their shame, who say, "A-ha, a-ha!"
4 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, "Let Elohim be magnified!"
5 But I am poor and needy; make haste to me, O Elohim! You are my help and my deliverer. Oh Yahweh, do not delay!
Psalms 79:9 Help us, O Elohim of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, for Your name's sake!
10 Why should the nations say,
"Where is their Elohim?" Let there be known among the nations in our sight
the avenging of the blood of Your servants which has beenshed.
11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; according to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are appointed to die.
Don't pray all by yourself. Ask
the Elders of your congregation and your friends and acquaintances among
the believers to join their prayers with yours. Pray about it together
and ask them to pray while you are apart. The fervent prayer of a righteous
person is very effective (James 5:16). Prayer still works today.
WORK ON IT - GET HELP AND ADVICE
Many times a person in a high position will give help to someone who needs it.
Samuel's mother-to-be, Hannah, received a blessing from the high priest. The result was the birth of Samuel, who was a blessing to Hannah and a mighty prophet to lead Yahweh's people.
1 Samuel 1:15 And Hannah answered and said, "No, my master, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before Yahweh. 16 "Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now."
17 Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace, and the Elohim of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him."
18 And she said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
Nehemiah approached the emperor with his problem and received wonderful help beyond his asking.
Nehemiah 2:2 Therefore the king said to me, "Why isyour face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart."
So I became dreadfully afraid, 3 and said to the king, "May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?"
4 Then the king said to me, "What do you request?"
So I PRAYED to the Elohim of heaven 5 and I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it."
We sometimes see someone who
saw a situation which made them angry or very sad and just did something
about it. It is not hard to find such examples in scripture and in daily
life. The determination of the men who let their sick friend down through
the roof to be healed by Yahshua comes to mind. Every day people are feeding
the hungry, collecting clothing and sending it, fighting for the rights
of the down-trodden, and sometimes even preaching Yahweh's word to the
poor. They see something wrong and do something about it.
You also hear of people who say, "I'm not going to put up with being sick any more! I'm going to find the answer to my problem in the Bible, the library, the health food store, or some other place or person. I'm going to stop doing whatever it is that is making me sick and start doing what it takes to get well!"
Many problems of all kinds will yield to a determined effort to correct them.
There are also people who take
small actions every day to prevent problems. A father who carefully trains
his young children or a mother who makes very sure to give her family a
Determined action combined with prayer is a mighty force. Add faith and the effect is certain and powerful.
WHEN SORROW OVERTAKES YOU:
The prophet Jeremiah said in Lamentations 1:12 "Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which has been brought on me, which Yahweh has inflicted in the day of His fierce anger.
The Messiah said in Revelation 2:8-11 "And to the angel of the assembly in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:
9 "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. BE FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the congregations. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'"
Remember the command Yahweh gave to Joshua after Moses died - Be strong and of good courage! Yahweh had an important job for Joshua to do. He had to lead the children of Israel to conquer the promised land. It may be that Yahweh also has a job for you to do that will require all of your attention.
REPENT OF YOUR PART AND LET IT GO
Put it in proper perspective. Your problem may have been caused by some sin, most are. Other situations are given to us for some other reason of Yahweh's. You may not know the reasons for what is happening, or the good that will later come from it.
Ezekiel 18:20 "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor shall the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. 21 But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. 23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Sovereign Yahweh, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"
Ezekiel 33:13 "When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die.
14 "Again, when I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live."
Things may not be as black as they seem. 1 Kings 19:13 So it was, when EliYah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, "What are you doing here, EliYah?"
14 And he said, "I have been very zealous for Yahweh Elohim of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life."
18 "No, I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."
Even the death of the Messiah has many good results. John 16:5 "But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?' 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. IT IS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE THAT I GO away; for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send it to you."
There was a situation in the Corinthian assembly which was a problem for Paul for a time, but it came out well because it was handled right. Paul knew what to do.
2 Corinthians 2:1 So I made up my mind that I would not pay you another painful visit. 2 For if I cause you pain, then who is left to make me glad but the ones who are made sorrowful by me?
3 Indeed this is why I wrote as I did to you - so that when I came I would not be sad about those from whom I ought to have joy. For I had confidence in you all that unless I could be happy none of you could be happy either. 4 I wrote to you out of a greatly distressed and anguished heart, with many tears, not to give you pain, but to get you to realize how very much I love you.
5 But if anyone has been a cause of grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent; not to be too severe. 6 This punishment which was already imposed on him by the majority is sufficient for such a person, 7 so that now, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and com- fort him. Otherwise such a person might be overwhelmed by depression. 8 So I urge you to show that you really do love him.
2 Corinthians 7:6 Nevertheless Yahweh, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his arrival, but also how encouraged he was about you, as he told us how you long to see me, of your distress over my situation, and your zeal for me, this news made me even happier! 8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; even though I did regret it before. For I see that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a short time. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led you to turn back to Yahweh. For you handled the pain in Yahweh's way so that you were not harmed by us at all. 10 For pain handled in Yahweh's way produces repentance which leads to salvation, and there is nothing to be regretted in that. But pain handled in the world's way produces only death.
11 Just look at what handling the pain in Yahweh's way produced in you. What earnest diligence, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation at wrong, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what a readiness to put things right! In every way you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
12 Therefore, although I wrote
to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor
for the sake of him who was wronged, but that you could see your devotion
to us under Yahweh's oversight.
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Br Tom Schattke