Me Time

You Can Feel Bad

There is an ongoing misconception that, if you are a Christian, your life will be all sunshine and rainbows, and everything you need or ask for will be given to you if you simply pray for it.

Because of this, you can never “feel bad,” because if God is all powerful, loving, and merciful, then there should never be a time where you should feel sad or unfulfilled. Though God is indeed all of these things, that does not mean that there will be times in your life when things just don’t go your way. When you find yourself in these times, it doesn’t mean that God has abandoned you or that your relationship with him is strained.

As a matter of fact, the Bible says to: “Consider it a great joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing,” (James 1:2-4). There will be times when the last thing you want to do is smile. There will be times when all you can do is cry, feel sad, and be angry. It is okay to feel bad. There is no denying those feelings. There is acknowledgement of those feelings and handling them in a healthy way that honors Christ.

That doesn’t look like stuffing them away and not acknowledging those feelings. As a Christian, you aren’t exempt from the consequences of living in this world. Bad things are going to happen, and bad feelings will ensue. This may come off as a surprise to some, but feeling bad is okay. The important thing is how you allow this to affect you long term. Where these feelings become not okay is when it numbs you to those around you and to God. There is no set amount of time that one is allowed to mourn for. Every situation is different, and people’s reactions will differ. Whatever the case, no matter how hard it may be at the moment, closing off to God and to your loved ones isn’t healthy.

There are copious Bible verses highlighting the strength of God and how a reliance on him can get you through even the most difficult trials in your life. God gives you the strength to go through these trials because they are intended to help you grow and mature. At the moment, we may not understand how that can possibly be. We may not even understand it even after some time has passed. We can only trust in God’s wisdom. In the midst of tragedy, though, God’s wisdom may be the last thing on our minds. In the moment, we are usually not overcome by a wave of emotions that make us feel bad.

It is our church family’s responsibility to step in and provide some level of comfort and support during hard times. This can be done through prayer, preparation of meals, visiting, and lending a listening ear. During hard times, Christians shouldn’t look down upon others because of a natural response to difficulties. We should lift each other up. By doing so, people are encouraged to look to God and see hope in a hopeless situation.

So, yes you can feel bad. You can feel downright horrible at times. That is okay! It isn’t what you feel in the moment that is going to determine your eternity. It is what you choose to lean on; it is how you let those feelings affect your long-term relationship with God and with others. ■

This article was originally published in August 2022.

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