by Kenneth Copeland
Christmas is supposed to be the most joyous time of year, and for many, it certainly is. But, for many others, it is a season of deep loneliness and sorrow instead. That empty place at the table or those missing packages under the tree leave a void that cannot be denied.
You may be experiencing the loss of a child, spouse, parent, marriage or relationship, and this time of year only accentuates the pain you’re feeling, maybe even to unbearable proportions. You may feel like no one understands your grief, but I assure you there is Someone who comprehends the depth of your sorrow.
Jesus intimately knows your pain because Scripture tells us He died on the cross carrying it (Isaiah 53:4). He has felt every bit of the pain that you have.
When Jesus died on the cross, He defeated the curse of grief and sorrow. Today, the enemy uses grief and sorrow to steal our hope and our joy…if we let him.
As a believer who’s been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, you can learn how to resist the enemy and experience the joy of The LORD this Christmas! Allow me to explain…
The Danger of Sorrow
It comes disguised as a simple, “healthy” emotion. Then, little by little, it drains you dry. It is devious and destructive, and it’s the constant companion of death itself.
Grief and sorrow are dangerous. In fact, grief and sorrow were part of the devastating, satanic barrage Jesus took on Himself when He died on the cross.
Isaiah 53:4, KJV, says: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” That phrase, “griefs and sorrows,” can also be translated sickness, weakness and pain. But any way you translate it, they’re all pieces of the same destructive puzzle.
Grief and sorrow are part of the devil’s game. They are the ever-present, shadowing companions of death. Yet countless Christians are still shouldering them today.
As a believer, you’ve been given hope through Calvary concerning your situation. And you cannot have hope and sorrow at the same time!
“But, Brother Copeland,” you may say, “aren’t grief and sorrow just natural emotions?” Yes, they are. That’s what makes them so dangerous.
Are You Hanging On to Grief?
We’ve seen them as such a natural part of life that we haven’t even questioned them. Some believers will even fight for the right to be sad.
When I was teaching a series of meetings on prayer in Oklahoma, a woman was there who was grieving over the death of one of her children. Although it had been several years since the child had died, she was still deep in sorrow and grief when I met her.
After one of the sessions, she came up to me to tell me how she’d prayed and prayed over that child and it hadn’t done any good. She was crying as she spoke. Again and again, she sobbed, “My baby died…my baby died….”
When I opened my mouth to reply, the Spirit of God came on me and I said to her, “God didn’t take your child. You let the devil beat you at the game of life, and he’s still whipping you today.”
Suddenly, she was furious. She wasn’t about to let me or anyone else take her grief away from her. Her husband had to take her out, she was so mad.
The next night, however, she came back with a smile on her face. Something had obviously changed. “Brother Copeland,” she said, “please forgive me. How can I ever thank you? For all these years I’ve been so caught up in grief that I’ve failed my family.
“I haven’t been a wife to my husband or a mother to my children. When I got to thinking about what you’ve been teaching on prayer, I remembered all the unbelief we cried and prayed over that baby. We thought it was prayer, but there wasn’t any real prayer to it.
“We just all agreed she was dying and kept hollering about it. We didn’t release any faith to keep it from happening. I did let the devil beat me, back then, and he’s been beating me ever since. But I’m telling you this: I will never let him do it again.”
If you’ve ever been seduced by grief, like this woman was, you’ve experienced an addictive kind of agony. You’ve found that even though the sorrow hurts, there’s something in it that makes you reluctant to let it go.
Grief Is a Burden, Not a Blessing
Webster defines grief as “a heavy emotional weight resulting from loss.”
That’s how it feels, isn’t it? Like a heavy weight on your heart that’s aching for release. When you give in to it, there’s a rush, a wave of emotion that rolls over you and the tears overflow. It feels good.
Your friends nod, pat your back and say, “Go ahead…just let it all out.” So you do, and the pressure lets up for a while.
Then later, when all the mourners and the back patters have gone home, that grief comes rising up in you again. Only, this time it comes with an overwhelming pain of loneliness that is almost unbearable.
Contrary to popular belief, grief and sorrow don’t come to help you. They come to hurt you. They’re deceivers sent for one purpose: to choke The WORD of God out of your heart.
Most of us have assumed that the lust of the flesh, as described in Mark 4:18-19, refers only to sex and pleasure. But the Holy Spirit has shown me plainly that the spirits of grief and sorrow fall into this category. If you’ll look up the word lust in the dictionary, you’ll find that it literally means “applied pressure.”
Sorrow comes when the devil applies pressure to our emotions. He pressures us to give in to the fleshly tendency to grieve—to lust after and long for that emotional flood and release that sorrow initially provides.
It’s Time to Show Sorrow the Door This Christmas
If grief and sorrow are not inevitable—if, in fact, they’re part of the devil’s bag of misery and death—how do we get rid of them?
Isaiah 51:11, KJV, says, “The redeemed of The LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and [grief] shall flee away.”
Did you hear that?
It said sorrow and grief will run from us! As a believer, you’ve been redeemed from the curse of grief and sorrow by the blood of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to put up with them any more than you have to put up with sin, sickness or disease. So, if you’ll follow the instructions in James 4:7 and resist them, they’ll have to flee from you!
Psalm 107:2 tells you how to do that. It says, “Let the redeemed of The LORD say so!” That means when sorrow and grief start bearing down on you, say, “Oh no, you don’t! I’m the redeemed of The LORD. I’ve been delivered from the likes of you. So you just get right on out of here!”
What I’m telling you is this: You’re going to have to stand against grief and sorrow. They don’t belong to you. They are not from your heavenly Father. But the devil’s a scoundrel. He’ll put them over on you if you’ll let him get away with it.
If the devil is trying to burden you with grief and sorrow, trying to make you forget the reason for the season, stand up and resist him!
Remember who you are! You’re the redeemed of The LORD. Don’t you think it’s about time you started saying so?
Yes, it is.
Say it aloud, and sorrow not!
Dare to Shine His Light on Sorrow This Christmas!
- Choose to take your stand against grief and sorrow. You may have to walk the floor all night long. But instead of worrying and crying, walk the floor and quote The WORD until that heavy spirit leaves and the joy of The LORD comes.
- Resist the devil’s attempts to discourage you by declaring aloud that you have been redeemed from sorrow and grief by the blood of Jesus.
- Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who will uplift and encourage you. Start a new tradition you can look forward to, and even honor an old tradition that will bring back positive memories of your loved one.
- Volunteer to help families in need this Christmas season. This puts the focus on others, which will lift your spirits as you carry out the work of The LORD and make a positive difference in your community.
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