Allowing Ourselves To Be Honest And Not Always Put On a Happy Face

Sad face, Colonel.

“I believed, even when I said, ‘I am greatly afflicted,'” (Psalm 116:10).

Many days, I’m not feeling well. I’m in pain and just worn out. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I instinctively want to lie. “Fine, thanks.” I could be honest and tactful, but deep down, sometimes I just don’t want to accept my pain. If I do, would it mean God has somehow lost control? Would it mean I’m wavering in my faith? Or both? Instinctively, I feel I must put on my happy face. I must lie. I must be strong.

Recently, I learned otherwise. In Psalm 116:10, the Psalmist revealed, “I believed, even when I said, ‘I am greatly afflicted.'”

He was in pain, yet he still believed. He didn’t lie or put on a happy face. Or even pretend to be strong. Instead, he let go of the “Fine, thanks.” He knew nothing he was experiencing – however painful – detracted from God, His promises, or even how God felt about him. Pain had pummeled him, but because of God’s mercy, he was not destroyed (v8).

Knowing this, I too can let go of the “Fine, thanks.” No need to discount my feelings. No need to lie to others and myself. No need to deny the reality of my life to protect myself from more pain.

God – not denial – is my ultimate protector. I can launch my feelings into the open, knowing He remains in control even when my faith wavers. Letting go shows I can trust Him with how I really feel. Letting go shows I believe He’ll listen to my broken heart (v1-2). Letting go shows He will come close, just as He’s done in the past (v. 7). Letting go shows I believe.

So how am I really doing? “I’m hanging in there. I have good days and not-so-good days.” I’ve let go of “Fine, thanks.” I know God is forever on His throne (Psalm 45:6). And nothing – not even pain – can ever snatch me from His hand (John 10:28).

About the Author:
Daphne Eilein Landers is a freelance writer and speaker who comforts others with the comfort she herself has received from God. Contact Daphne at

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