Bible Topics: Sorrow

Definition: Sadness felt after a loss (as of something loved), often accompanied by feelings of guilt and regret; mental distress caused by loss or disappointment; the opposite of joy.

1. No matter what loss we may suffer, we’ll always have Jesus!

* Deuteronomy 33:27a The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

* Psalm 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

* Psalm 34:22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.

* Psalm 142:4,5 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 5 I cried unto Thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

* Isaiah 54:5,6 For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His Name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called. 6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

* Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

* Matthew 28:20b Lo, I [Jesus] am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

* John 14:18 I [Jesus] will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

* 2 Timothy 4:16a,17a At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: … 17a Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me.

* Hebrews 13:5b I [Jesus] will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

2. God understands exactly what you’re going through.

* Exodus 3:7 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.

* Psalm 103:13,14 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. 14 For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

* Isaiah 53:3a,4a He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: … 4a Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.

* Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

* Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but He [Jesus] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. [See also 2:18.]

3. The Lord knows every tear you’ve shed.

* 2 Kings 20:5b I [God] have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee.

* Psalm 6:6,9 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. … 9 The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.

* Psalm 39:12a Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not Thy peace at my tears.

* Psalm 56:8b Put Thou my tears into Thy bottle: are they not in Thy Book?

* Psalm 66:16,17,19 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul. 17 I cried unto Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. … 19 But verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

4. Unhappiness can be the fruit of getting out of touch with the Lord.

* Genesis 3:16,17 [Sorrow was part of God’s punishment for the original sins of Adam and Eve:] Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.

* Leviticus 26:14-16a [Sorrow was part of God’s punishment on the disobedient. The Lord told His people:] But if ye will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if ye shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that ye will not do all My commandments, but that ye break My covenant: 16a I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption [wasting disease], and the burning ague [fever], that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart. [See also Deuteronomy 28:65.]

* Psalm 16:4a Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god.

* Psalm 32:10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

* Proverbs 23:29,30 [Alcohol abuse can bring much sorrow:] Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine [strong drink].

* Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

* Jeremiah 30:15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? Thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I [the Lord] have done these things unto thee.

5. The sorrow of the world [sorrow without hope] is death!

* Proverbs 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

* Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

* Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

* Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

* 2 Corinthians 2:7 [Paul encouraged the brethren to forgive a man who’d repented of a serious sin, so that he wouldn’t be overcome by sorrow:] So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

* 2 Corinthians 7:10 [Godly sorrow bears good fruit, but worldly sorrow doesn’t.] For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of [regretted]: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

* 1 Thessalonians 4:13 [Paul wrote:] But I would … that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

6. Examples of sorrow as a result of sin:

* Genesis 4:13 [After Cain killed his brother, Abel, he murmured against God’s punishment.] And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

* 1 Kings 21:4 [When Naboth refused to sell his family’s land to selfish King Ahab:] Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

* Matthew 27:3-5 Then Judas, which had betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? See thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

* Luke 18:22-24 [When Jesus told the rich young ruler to forsake his riches to the poor, he refused and went away sorrowful:] Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come, follow Me. 23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, He said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God! [For the whole story see verses 18-25.]

* 1 Timothy 6:10 [Pursuit of worldly wealth brings sorrow.] For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

7. God sometimes allows sorrow in our lives for a reason.

* Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

* Ecclesiastes 7:3,4 [To make us wiser:] Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

* Romans 8:28 [To somehow bring us good:] And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

* Psalm 119:50,67 [To drive us to His Word:] This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy Word hath quickened me. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy Word.

* 2 Corinthians 1:4 [To teach us compassion and make us a greater blessing to others:] Who [God] comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

* 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 [To bring us to repentance:] Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. [See also James 4:8-10.]

* 2 Timothy 2:12a [To prepare us for greater service:] If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.

* James 1:2-4 [To teach us patience:] My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting [lacking] nothing.

* 1 Peter 1:6-8 [To try us, and to draw us closer to Jesus:] Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

* 1 Peter 5:10 [To strengthen us:] But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

8. Trust God through your sorrow; example of King David.

* 1 Samuel 30:6 [When King David and his men were away, his town was pillaged and their wives and children were kidnapped. When he returned his people had turned against him.] And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. [And God blessed David and helped him retrieve all that had been taken. See the whole chapter for the full story.]

* Psalm 13:2,5 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? 5 But I have trusted in Thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.

* Psalm 38:6,9,15,17,18,21,22 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. 9 Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my groaning is not hid from Thee. 15 For in Thee, O Lord, do I hope: Thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. 17 For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. 18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. 21 Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. 22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

* Psalm 42:9,11 I will say unto God my Rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

* Psalm 55:2,4,6,7,8,22 Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise. 4 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. 6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest. 7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. 8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. 22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

* Psalm 69:29-31 But I am poor and sorrowful: let Thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. 30 I will praise the Name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. 31 This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock [given in sacrifice] that hath horns and hoofs.

9. The Lord promises special care for the brokenhearted.

* Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.

* Psalm 71:20,21 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

* Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

* Isaiah 30:19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee.

* Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, Whose Name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

* Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.

* Ezekiel 34:16a I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.

* Jeremiah 31:12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.

* Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. [See also Luke 6:21.]

10. Sorrow will give way to joy.

* Job 11:16 Thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away.

* Psalm 30:5,11 For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. 11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.

* Psalm 126:5,6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

* Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep.

* Isaiah 49:13 Sing, O Heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted.

* Isaiah 54:11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

* Luke 6:21b Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

* John 16:20b Ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

11. Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal!

* Isaiah 14:3a And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear.

* Isaiah 25:8a He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.

* Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. [See also 51:11.]

* Isaiah 60:20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

* Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.

* Luke 16:19-22a,25 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. … 22a And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. … 25 But Abraham said [to the selfish rich man who was in Hell], Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

* John 16:21,22 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

* Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

* 2 Corinthians 1:7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

* 2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

* 2 Timothy 2:12a If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.

* Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

* Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

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