Christians dealing with grief and depression

pastor tony brock and grief

God turns scars into beauty. A simple reflection over your life will show how He skillfully took your deepest pains and turned them into victorious testimonies. It’s a beautiful thing. However, it’s not a passive process that happens to us, but, it happens with us. Pastor Tony Brock gave me perspective.

Pastor Tony Brock offers help in dealing with grief and depression

Yesterday, on TBN’s “Praise the Lord,” one of the guests was Pastor Tony Brock from Snellville, Georgia. He shared how God turned the ugly scar of grief into a “beauty mark” in his life. You see, Pastor Brock’s sixteen-year-old brother, David, died several years ago after an encounter with a drunk driver.

As Pastor Brock spoke of the distress that accompanies grief, I could relate. As many of you know, most all my family died sudden deaths. Each loss left deep-seated wounds on my spirit and in my heart. To this day, I struggle with the mortality of my loved ones.

I battle the fear of receiving another one of those phone calls telling me of another death and another loss. My faith in Jesus prevents the fear from crippling me, but it’s a thorn in my side nonetheless. Do you know what I mean?

Praising God through Grief

During Pastor Brock’s segment, he says we should make altars or memorials of our wounds. In the Old Testament, the children of Israel often created memorials to remind future generations of Jehovah’s faithfulness.

Here’s how it works: when you praise God, you take the focus from your pain (the past) and re-position it on God (the past, present, and future). The place of your hurt can become a significant memorial that builds faith, endurance, and spiritual muscle.

Springboard your healing by taking your eyes from your wound and fixing them on Jesus and His work in you. 

Mark that terrible place in your life as a memorial of His faithfulness. After all, it could have been worse.

No longer remember it as a tragedy, but a place where God’s grace was abundant, and His strength was made perfect in your weakness.

I posted this a while ago after hearing Pastor Tony Brock speak and ministry on TBN.

Transform the pain into a memorial to God…

One of the biggest mistakes Christians make is to hold on to past wounds, sometimes we even “nurse” them or protect them from healing.

For example, have you ever met someone stalled in the grieving process?

Years pass, but they do not heal. As the woman in the Bible, they refuse comfort. Their warped sense of comfort comes from nursing the trauma and holding on tightly to the pain.

Now, to be clear, I think we all grieve in different ways.

For instance, I kept my dad’s cowboy boots for years after his death. Not only that, but I also kept his old documents. By keeping them, I “nursed” the grief. It wasn’t good.

Every time I saw them, every time I walked by them, I felt the twinge of heartache that had become familiar …and almost comfortable …to me. It wasn’t until God began dealing with me that I was able to release them and move on. It wasn’t healthy keeping all that stuff around for so long.

Christian grief is different

Death aside, there are other ways to accommodate the pain. People betrayed by an unfaithful mate may close their hearts, refusing to trust again. Others “nurse” their pain by refusing to try again because of a past failure. The examples are endless.

Worship! Worship! Worship there!

Christian Woman, instead of accommodating the heartbreak, submit it to God. Turn it into a place of praise in your memory. That’s what I do anyway.

“Praise Him?” you ask with a furrowed brow.

YES, praise Him for bringing you out of that situation.

Praise Him for His provision during it, and glorify Him for the comfort you received in the midst of it.

Worship Him because you didn’t lose your mind during it.

A weaker woman would have fallen apart, but you made it! All because God had His hand in the turmoil and on His beloved baby girl (You!) So, heal in the name of Jesus, Christian Sister!

Christians dealing with grief and depression

He went where???

Pastor Tony Brock returned to the exact physical spot his brother died. His two young boys were with him. Through tears and pain, he re-introduced his children to their uncle and explained the significance of what happened on that street.

What he did next gives me chills.

Right there… in the very spot his loved one departed this earth, he mustered a spiritual maturity that most of us dream of attaining.

He selflessly offered a sacrifice of praise to His Heavenly Father. He praised Him for who He was, who He is, and all the wondrous things He has done in spite of the death of his brother. He worshipped God!

Christians dealing with grief is sometimes as easy as changing perspective

Pastor Brock transformed that spot of sadness and grief into a place of spiritual beauty. No longer did that street represent death.

After his praise offering, it represented the amazing life Jesus died to give all who will accept Him. Wow. This helped me.

I think the best part of all of this is that he did this in the presence of his boys.

Whether they realize it or not, they received a spiritual deposit that will empower them for years to come – that is if they learn the lesson.

Pastor Brock said on that day, he turned his heart wound into something other than an ugly scar that refuses to heal. The day he surrendered that pain, it became a spiritual “beauty mark” symbolizing praise, worship, and total surrender to God and His processes.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,
but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by
faith in the Son of God, who loved
me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Joy does come again Christians dealing with grief and depression
Joy does come again.

Timing is everything.

Now, healing takes time and happens when it happens.

The important thing is not to inhibit it by holding on to the pain.

Hey, I’ll bet it took Pastor Brock some time to get to that point of surrender. It will take time for you as well.

I’m sure the day after his brother’s funeral, he never could have worshiped as he did on that street the day. No, it likely took some time.

So, do not rush yourself, Chrisitan Woman- but do not stall (or get stuck in the pain) either.

The truth be told, I am currently going through my own season of “deepest darkness”.

My tears have been my bread. God has been faithful and His Holy Spirit very present. I am not sharing this with you for sympathy. That’s not what I am about. Instead, I want you to know that Pastor Brock’s testimony spoke directly into my current life situation.

Sometimes, life is just…hard.

A hopeless medical prognosis, a financial burden, rebellious children, a broken relationship, marital problems, and deteriorating health… all threaten our peace and our praise. But, now you know the answer: build an altar.

Build an altar of praise from your illness, sadness, disappointment, grief, or trauma.

Make the pain a symbol of God’s faithfulness, healing power, and His endless mercy.

Praise Him in it, through it and after it.

There is healing in your worship. Now, do it! Be made whole in Jesus’ name.

Note: I emailed Pastor Brock to thank him for his transparency. He responded with such grace, encouragement, and humility. A great man of God he is.

God bless you, Pastor and thank you for helping us grow.

13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)