Today, we will be talking about Sadness.

I don’t like talking about sadness.

How many of you want to be happy? To be happy, we have to talk about Sadness.

But the problem is this: If you think that happiness is the goal of life, what happens is we look at sadness as the enemy– but it’s not.

What we do is try to get rid of it as fast as we can but that’s not the way to go.

Preach this to yourself and to somebody beside you: “The Lord heals the broken.” Let’s sing it again:

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.

Sadness: Enemy or Gift?

If happiness is the purpose of life,

is sadness the enemy? The answer is No.

But that’s why a lot of people try to get rid of sadness. They do that by overeating, overworking, over-Tiktoking, and over- Netflixing. When people are sad, that’s how they cope. They try to get rid of sadness or escape it.

We learned from this series that difficult emotions carry special gifts. So, sadness also has a gift. We’ll find out what that is.

When do we experience sadness? When we experience losing a loved one, money, material things, opportunity, boyfriend, girlfriend, or friend who migrated elsewhere. To understand sadness better is to liken it to physical pain. When you say it hurts, you may be referring to physical pain or emotional pain.

A freak thing happened to me. I visited a friend at his house. I entered through the door. I bumped my head on the top door frame. Bang! I saw shooting stars.

My head throbbed with pain. The only consolation was that I felt I was 6’8” tall.

My friend was very apologetic, “Bro. Bo, I’m sorry. Welcome to my hobbit house. All of our family members are below 5 feet tall. So, all of us are cute. You are not.” He gave me some ice which helped to massage that sore spot. I had to pass through the door again when I was about to leave. It was hilarious. The entire cute family placed five pairs of hands on my head to guard the injury as I walked through the doorway. My friends, I tell you that story because that is the role of pain.

Do you know that there are people who do not experience pain?

It is a rare condition called CIP or Congenital Insensitivity to Pain. They don’t feel any pain which makes it such a dangerous condition. They cut themselves or they break a bone yet they don’t feel pain.

To be graphic: Imagine that you have CIP. Some of your friends came by your house unannounced one morning to have breakfast. You started frying eggs in the kitchen. Then, 370°F hot burning oil dripped onto your foot. You had second-degree burns. Your foot looked like sushi– blisters are popping out from your skin. But you were so focused on frying the eggs, that you didn’t notice that more oil splattered on the other foot.

Thank God for pain. When you feel pain, you stop and tend to your wound. That is exactly the purpose of sadness.

Sadness should push you to the Lord. When we feel sad, sometimes we just want to escape from it. So, we immerse ourselves in Korean Drama or we go to a loud party with noisy friends. But what we need to do is feel the pain and, hope it drives us closer to God.

So, sadness can be good.

I wrote the book, Awaken the Healer in You. It’s about health. The book is based on one single premise: that your body can heal itself. Your wound can heal itself. Your broken bone can heal itself. You can recover from disease in the same way.

But for your body to heal, two points:

1.   Don’t Rush the Healing

You don’t put a band-aid on the wound and remove it after five minutes, expecting the wound would already be healed.

When I was a teenager, I was leading this group called Light of Jesus — our faith community. It wasn’t as big as it is now. We were a small group of 200-300 members. I had hyper-faith in the sense that I believed that if you were following and trusting God, you would never act sad.


Let’s travel back in time. Imagine that you were part of the Light of Jesus and I was a teenage preacher there.

I would say to our members then that whenever somebody asked how they were, they shouldn’t say, “I’m not so well.”

Because words create reality. It doesn’t matter if their house got burned down or their car got stolen. No matter what was happening, they should answer, “Victorious!”

It should be faith-filled.

Our members then were very obedient. We practiced this insanity for a few years.

Later, I noticed that there was something wrong with my teaching– when one of our members lost his mother.

When we went to the wake and people would ask him how he was, he would answer, “Victorious! She’s in Heaven!”

He wouldn’t cry, and he told everyone in the family not to cry.

2.   Don’t Delay the Healing

If you have a wound, you let it be. Be patient but don’t keep on poking at it.

While you are healing, remember these 3 ‘Don’ts’:

 1. Don’t make sadness your

It is easy to say that we’re sad and take on the victim mentality. When you over-indulge in your sadness, you may receive a lot of rewards like people giving you more attention, help, and pity. Suddenly, you already embraced sadness as part of who you are. Some people fall into that extreme.

Grief is only for a particular season. Grief is medicine. There is an expiry date to grief. Grief heals but you have to respect the expiry date.

2.  Don’t let sadness morph into hopelessness.

Later, sadness can become despair. There is a difference. You can be sad and still be hopeful for sadness and sorrow is not your destination. Be sad today and that’s okay but let the healing happen. Hope can co-exist with sadness, but it cannot co-exist with despair.

2. Don’t confuse sadness with clinical depression.

Do not try to treat clinical depression as emotional sadness. If you do, you will not be able to address the chemical imbalance of the physiological issue behind it. Also, do not treat emotional sadness as clinical depression because you will make things worse.

There is a story in the Gospel where Jesus lost a friend. His name was Lazarus. Lazarus died. (And Jesus saw his sister and other Jews weeping). Now, the funny thing about the story– I found it funny– Jesus was going to raise him from the dead. But before He did (He also cried.)

It says here…

If Jesus allowed himself to feel sad, it’s okay if we also allow ourselves to feel sadness because it has a message. Sadness can heal.

Resist the urge to isolate especially if you’re an introvert. Look for someone whom you can journey with in your sadness.

Talk to someone you trust. I’m also speaking to men. We live in a culture that says, “Real men don’t cry.”

They just fix things.

When I look back on my married life, I see myself dividing my being a husband into two phases. Husband version Number 1 lasted up to 15 years. If ever I felt sad, worried, afraid, bothered, like any typical man, I would go into my man cave, and I would try to fix whatever problems

I was facing.

After three or four days of at least having a solution, I would go out and talk with my wife, “Sweetheart, there was something bothering me, but I already have the solution.” I wanted to be the superhero.

Husband version Number 2 is about 10 years already. How did I transition?

My wife came up to me and said, “Love, I know that something is bothering you. Why don’t you tell it to me before you fix it? Am I not your wife? What’s my purpose if not to be here to listen to you?”

I said, “Okay, then.”

But yes, I was forced to say that. But when I started telling her my concerns, it was wonderful! Half of the burden was lifted from my shoulders. Now, every time that I’m sad, I reach out to her. I don’t fix it.

I just tell her, “Sweetheart, can you just listen?” Boom! Wonderful! It’s amazing.

You need to journey with safe people. So, if you are sad, tell your mom, tell your dad. tell your brother, tell your sister. If you have a Light Group or a Feast Light, that is a great blessing. If you don’t have one, please sign up.

When you’re sad, sometimes the loss is obvious– like losing a parent or a job. But sometimes, the loss is not obvious.

For example, your boyfriend cheated on you.

You did not only lose a boyfriend.

You also lost self-value.

You start asking yourself, “Why did he cheat on me? What’s wrong with me? Am I not enough? Am I ugly?”

Sometimes, when you’re sad, you don’t go through the logic. It’s just one hazy dizzying chaos of heaviness. So, you need to identify your loss.

You need to say: “I am enough. I am beautiful. I am a daughter of the king.

That guy is a jerk.”

When you’re sad, know your needs. For example, “I need prayer. I need God’s Word. I need my Light Group. I need my safe people. I need exercise. I need sunlight. I need healthy food, not junk food. I need The Feast.”

Gratitude is important but it’s not Step 1. This is Step 5. Why? You already allowed yourself to feel sad, you shared it with your safe friends, you identified your own losses, and you already identified your needs. Finally, you start saying, “In my loss, God still blessed me.” Then you start counting the blessings of God amidst the crisis.

This step is crucial because sadness will come again. You will lose something else in your life. But because you know how to respond already to sadness, you’ll be able to be wiser.

One time after The Feast, a young guy approached me and said, “Bro. Bo, I don’t know why I’m here. I’m an atheist.”

I smiled at him, and I said, “Welcome Home. We welcome atheists like you.

This is your home now. This is your community.” Then I asked him, “Why are you an atheist?”

He said, “There is so much suffering in this world. If there is a good God who is all-powerful, why is there so much pain and suffering?”

I told him, “That’s my question too and I don’t know the answer. But I have hints and I’m going to share one hint. It doesn’t fully answer your question. After living on this Planet for almost six decades, my realization is this: Suffering makes us stronger. Suffering is the only thing that can make us stronger. An easy and comfortable life stunts our growth. It does not elevate humanity. A convenient life does not make us better, only suffering does.”

Friends, I’m going to give you a statement that I didn’t tell him. But I’m going to tell you now because I’m preaching about sadness. If you’re watching online, I hope you’re hearing this word:

If you wisely respond to sadness, you mature, and it pushes you to deeper happiness.

Do you want to be happy? Be sad whenever you go through moments of sadness. Just do it in the right way and it’ll push you into a deeper kind of happiness. This is what I love about the Christian faith — we embrace suffering. We don’t deny it.

We deal with it head-on.

How many of you have a Crucifix at home? Can you just imagine someone who does not know anything about Christianity and walks into your house to see a crucifix on the wall?

He’ll be shocked and say, “Who’s that dead man hanging on the piece of wood?” That’s our faith- suffering.

When you pray the Rosary twice a week, meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries.

We do not run away from suffering.

How many of you understand that the Mass is called the “Sacrifice of the Mass?” It’s the suffering of Jesus.

How many of you have a Catholic grandmother?

When you’re sick or you’re having a problem, your grandmother would most likely tell you, “Offer it up to the Lord.”

When I was a kid, I couldn’t understand my mother when she would tell me to offer up my problems. Does God need my suffering?

I couldn’t get it…until I read this verse from St. Paul:

Just a clarification: Jesus is enough. His Cross is enough. But because God invites us to be His partners, He uses our sadness and suffering to build His Kingdom– first in our lives, and then in the world.

The Role of Sadness

There was a time when Jesus was at a party of Matthew– along with tax collectors, drunkards, and prostitutes.

The religious leaders told Jesus, “Why are you doing that?”

Jesus said, “The healthy don’t need a doctor. It’s the sick that need a doctor. I am the doctor.”

Does that mean that the religious leaders were not sick?

They were sick but they just didn’t know. They had CIP. They did not feel the pain of their hearts. But the tax collectors, drunkards, and prostitutes knew they were sick.

I’ve got news for you, my Friends.

Every person here is sick and that’s okay. Every person here is in pain and that’s okay. Every person here has lost something and that’s okay.

Because we worship the One who says, “I will heal the broken-hearted.”

The Lord heals the broken. He is our great physician. If there is sadness, loss, wound, and scar right now in your life, I want you to run to God.

That’s the role of sadness. It pushes you to the right direction. I hope you respond well because it’s so easy to be distracted and say:

“I’ll overeat because I’m sad.”

“I’ll go with my friends who have vices because I’m sad.

“I’ll distract myself with Facebook and TikTok because I’m sad.” Let your sadness push you to the Great Healer. Let Jesus heal you. Are you ready to be healed?

Jesus, heal me now what needs to be healed in me. Perform a miracle.
Today, I give my life to You. I serve You with all my heart. I accept You as my Lord and as my Savior. I repent from all my sins. Heal my soul, mind, body, and life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

This story was first published in the Feast Family Online News Magazine

Published by THE FEAST (June 2, 2024)


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