God doesn’t promise us a life without pain, but He does promise to give joy in the midst of it. On this edition of Live the Promise, Susie talks again with Kay Warren. She shares her own faith journey and what she’s learned about choosing joy and trusting God in difficult circumstances, including the loss of her son, Matthew.

Kay and her husband Rick have walked a road of deep grief after their son took his life. Kay wrote her book, Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, before his death. In her words, “I believe God used the book as preparation to get me through what was ahead.” Kay walked through a cancer diagnosis and chronic depression in her life, and she soon realized that her joy needed to be found in Christ alone. She defines it as a “settled assurance” about God and His promises. She points to men like King David, Paul, James, and of course Jesus, and calls us to follow their example. When we have that settled assurance, we can walk through trials, imprisonment, the loss of a loved one, financial hardship and more.

When Kay and Rick lost their son, this journey to learning and choosing joy took on a sharp new meaning. Kay shared that, though she clung to God in the darkness, she wrestled with Him. She wrestled with deep disappointment, anger, grief, and confusion. Speaking from a place of suffering, she offers the church this counsel:

“I think people are well-meaning. We’ve received thousands and thousands of emails and cards and texts and gifts… sweet, sweet comfort from the body of Christ. I will always be grateful for the way that this cocoon of compassion surrounded us in the aftermath of our son’s death… But what I started to notice as the year-mark started getting closer… that little cocoon started to disintegrate. Don’t ever start a sentence to someone in grief with the words ‘at least.’ Any time we use it, we’re minimizing the pain of someone else. Grief is slow, and it’s long, and we try to hurry people along… The people who have meant the most to me in this last year are the people who have been willing to be changed by our grief. They don’t rush in with words… It is the hope of heaven that keeps me sane. But that doesn’t make me not weep.”

For Kay and Rick, the choice for joy is a daily battle. She points to Christ as our ultimate hope and only source of joy – only He outlasts our pain, our earthly treasures, and our own lives.

Key Scriptures: Romans 15:13; Jeremiah 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:43

Theme Song: Sovereign by Chris Tomlin

This program has been pre-recorded.

Highlight : Joy in the dark

Joy in the dark

4 Responses to "Joy in the dark: A conversation with Kay Warren"

  • Linda and Joe Goodman says:

    We lost our baby daughter eight years ago to a brain tumor. She and her family were in Italy, she had just had her third baby girl. They were medevaced to Walter Reed. The doctors said that the tumor was the worst. We were truly blessed to have her with us for five years when we didn’t think we would have her five minutes. She had a good quality of life, able to do she wanted. We knew this could reoccur, but she prayed for healing, such faith she had. She led all three of her little girls to the Lord. It is hard loosing a child any way they are taken and I prayed for you when I heard about your son. So many lessons have been learned through this journey, you see I have cancer also. I was diagnosed four months after Dianna was diagnosed. I am so thankful for my intimate relationship with the Lord now. i say that I wish it had not taken the firery trials to bring me this close.

  • Karen perry says:

    Thank you for your heartfelt expression of your grief and journey this past year
    I prayed for you and your family when this happened last year
    I believe this radio broadcast will help several women friends that are living through some very difficult valleys currently
    Karen perry
    Romans 8:28 life verse

  • Karen R says:

    Wow! No words to express how this has touched my heart. Thank you.

  • This is my Easter message. My son, who loved Jesus, also took his life due to mental illness. This message IS my story. We started a foundation in honor of our son for bereaved parents (Kenny Rutz Endless Joy Foundation) and held our first bereaved moms retreat on the one year anniversary of Matthew’s death and dedicated the retreat in part to him and the Warrens. Thank you for sharing this message. I have shared it on my Blessed Bereaved Moms FB page..

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