The Unexpected Gift of Sadness

The Unexpected Gift of Sadness“Tomorrow, if all literature was to be destroyed and it was left to me to retain one work only, I should save Job.” —Victor Hugo, author

The book of Job is part of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, along with Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

Job experienced loss and pain marked by sadness and mourning, but even in the midst of the discouragement and depression, he chose to honor God. In all of our lives, the question is not if we will experience loss and pain and feel sadness, but how will we respond when we do? Job’s example encourages us that even when we don’t understand, God is still in control. Even though we may be tempted to question or doubt, God is still good. And though we experience hardship and challenges, God uses those times to draw us into a more intimate relationship with Himself and reveal Him to us in unexpected ways.

On a list of emotions we try to avoid, sadness often tops the list. Yet not only is feeling sad normal, it’s a gift from God. Sadness prompts us to pray, reminds us that we need others, calls us to be honest with ourselves and God, and creates compassion for others in our hearts.

God invites us to be a comfort to those who are facing difficult circumstances and challenging situations. Over the course of the next week, spend some time reflecting on Galatians 6:2 and 2 Corinthians 1:3–4. Then prayerfully consider a practical way you can be a source of comfort to someone you know who is facing difficult times.

Excerpts from Making Peace with Your Emotions Copyright ©2012 Thomas Nelson; Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Making Peace with Your EmotionsDig deeper into the story of Job and the role of loss, pain, and sadness in our lives with Making Peace with Your Emotions, part of the Women of Faith Study Guide Series. Order your copy of Making Peace with Your Emotions here.


  1. The daily WOF email helped me so much. I lost my husband to cancer a year and half ago. Things are better with me now and as they say a new normal. There are still days that are hard and sad . I had never thought about the sadness being a gift from God and something that we are given so we will pray,and comfort others. This is nuts but I felt good to know I was normal and it was God gift. I’m buying the book and can’t wait to get it. God bless ,Anita Nolte

  2. 2 years ago
    Judy says

    Yes I agree about the book of Job. But I don’t know if I would choose the book of Job for the only book to be saved. It does show a man with great faith and love for God. It is a great example for us in trouble times as God ment it to be. But with out the new testiment and the story and reason for Christ, which gives us all hope. For with out Jesus we can not reach heaven for he is the way and the door and the only key to inter into the kingdom of heaven. I guess what I am saying is we would have to save the whole bible. It all is full of our lessons to lose any of it I couldnt imagine.
    Thanks with Gods love

  3. 2 years ago
    Jane S. Lentz says

    Marvelous thoughts on sadness. Keep them coming and I will not only apply them to my own life but send them on to others. Thanks so much.

  4. Hello! We are beginning to receive some sprinkles out here in San Diego, Ca. Thank God! To briefly
    “share”–When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God raises up a standard against it.– In
    my life-over the last two years, specifically, “family-troubles” has stretched me big time! After these 2
    yrs.of emotional/verbal abuse-I’ve “walked” away w/ a sweet,and more tender relationship w/the L0RD
    than I’ve ever known before.Although, the “changes” have not been obvious, I’ve been able to thank
    God for His grace and mercy. In the midst of being obedient, in forgiveness-which is “ongoing”-I’ve
    seen the tender workings of God’s grace. I do believe God brings us through these tough times,and
    He helps us to grow-in Him,and His goodness. Jesus helps us to “grow-up” & appreciate His mercy.
    With prayer & trust, I did have to remove myself from the abuse. Those “family”-members are continuously in my prayers & thoughts. God is in control. Thanks for “listening”. Mary