April 18, 2020

From Sadness To Joy

April 18, 2020


Philippians 4:4-7


This week, we’re going to dive deeply into the beloved Prayer of St. Francis. The prayer invites us to look at the dark places in the world and in our own lives, while considering how we might be agents of God’s peace and healing. With all that is pressing in on us now, we hope that you use this time to find peace for your soul and become an instrument of God’s peace in the world. 

I want to be very honest with you. The instructions of this scripture could not feel more unattainable right now. The honest truth is: I’m sad. Not all the time. But sadness rolls in like waves. Sometimes it settles quickly and quietly on the shore of my soul. And other times it crashes in and takes out everything in its path. It oftentimes catches me off guard. It is hard for me to imagine perfectly following Paul’s petitions to be glad, not be anxious, and give thanks always. Maybe it’s just me. 

But if you can relate – if sadness has come for you in unpredictable waves – then hear this: your heart and mind is safe in Christ Jesus. Christ is with you and for you. God sees your sadness and hurts with you. God holds you and comforts you. So enter Christ’s presence and bring your prayers and petitions to God. Hold nothing back. In great sadness and in great joy, you are God’s beloved.


  • Describe your sadness. What has it felt like? Has it surprised you? Has it made you feel shame?
  • Release your shame: name your sadness before God. Share you sadness with a friend or family member.


  • How has your heart felt sad since we’ve been at home?
  • How can your family share joy in the world today? For a neighbor? A family member? A friend? A stranger?


Lord, where there is sadness let me sow joy. Let me know joy and feel joy and share joy and delight in great joy. But God, when sadness rolls in, help me to accept it and understand it and share it with you so that I do not live in it alone. Amen.