Sadell Bradley

Sadell Bradley

Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”– Leo Tolstoy

“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.” – Joseph M. Scriven, Hymn Writer

Joseph Scriven, according to, was an Irish immigrant in Canada. Scriven’s life was filled with trials and griefs, and he needed solace from the Lord. As a youth, his poor health prevented him from joining the army. His first fiancée died in a drowning accident on the eve of their wedding. His plans for marriage were dashed again when his new bride-to-be died after a short illness in 1855, the year he wrote “What A Friend We Have in Jesus.” Following these losses, Scriven seldom had a regular income, and was forced to live in the homes of others. He experienced mistrust from neighbors who did not appreciate his eccentricities or his work with the underprivileged. Joseph Scriven suffered from depression, so no one knew if his death by drowning in Rice Lake was suicide or an accident. It brings new meaning to the song. You never know what people are going through.

3He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5)

Isaiah describes the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Both he and Joseph Scriven use the word grief in the plural as griefs. GRIEF is deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death; trouble or annoyance; a burden. Griefs intimates that there is more than one death, loss, or sorrow over which we might be experiencing sadness, despair, or broken-heartedness. Jesus is THE FRIEND who is able to bear all of our sins and griefs. When’s the last time you laid your griefs at His feet?

We don’t talk enough about grief, yet it’s so much a part of our everyday lives. C.S. Lewis said, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” I don’t like to be afraid, nor do I like losses …not of money, time, arguments, opportunities, and especially not of people. Allowing oneself to grieve is not the first answer that comes to mind when we’re hurting. Perhaps that’s the reason when I’m ruminating on a situation, the Lord’s answer will be…“You need to grieve that,” or, “You need to die to that and grieve.” Grief is so complex that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said it has Five StagesDenial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, and Acceptance, and you can go in and out of those in your process.

Grief doesn’t just happen when a person dies. We grieve relationships that do not turn out the way we’d hoped. We mourn the loss of jobs, or offering up our desires for the sake of others. Grief comes into play when your dreams are delayed or denied. Stages of life, retirement, afflictions, and health issues are all shifts…one state of being is lost and must be grieved while another is grasped. Financial woes and personal regrets can be grieved. We can even mourn and lament over the injustices we find in our world. When Israel was disobedient and idolatrous, Jeremiah said, “Call for the skillful mourning women to come.” (Jer. 9:17) They would wail on behalf of the people to God. Now is a good time for ALL of us to examine ourselves for areas that need to be grieved, cried over, and taken to the LORD Jesus Christ in prayer.

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Sadell Bradley, Pastor of The Warehouse Church OTR, is a dynamic teacher and worship leader, with over 30 years in ministry in various contexts including: as a conference speaker and trainer, music, worship and arts pastor, providing background vocals for various artists; as a campus missionary, and as a ministry development director.
Sadell’s main desire is to see people saved, healed, delivered and set free by the ministry of Jesus, the Word of God, and presence of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:18)

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