You might think lament is the opposite of praise. It isn't. Instead, lament is a path to praise as we are led through our brokenness and disappointment. The space between brokenness and God's mercy is where this song is sung. Think of lament as the transition between pain and promise. It is the path from heartbreak to hope.
– Mark Vroegop
About the Episode
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/pastor Mark Vroegop on the topic of his new book, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy, learning how the God-given language of lament offers the broken-hearted hope and help for life’s sorrowful seasons. During the conversation, Pastor Mark shares his family's personal story of tragic loss, and how lament provided them—and ultimately, his church community—an outlet for their pains to be voiced while placing their trust in God. We talk about the key components of lament, heart-attitude cautions (what lament isn't), and why today's culture has such a hard time walking alongside broken-hearted people. Pastor Mark also offers practical steps for traveling by faith through grief and sorrow, as well as encouragements on how to cling to biblical hope, even when we've lost all sense of it.
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About the Podcast
The Hope + Help Podcast offers interviews with seasoned biblical counseling professionals and ministry leaders on a variety of topics regarding life’s challenging problems. Listeners can expect to receive biblical wisdom as well as practical steps for facing suffering, struggling, and sin with courage and grace. Hosted by author/writer Christine M. Chappell.
About the Guest
Mark Vroegop (B.A., Cedarville University; M.Div., Grand Rapids Theological Seminary) has been Lead Pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis for over ten years. He previously served as Senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Holland, Michigan, from 1996-2008. Mark and his wife, Sarah, are parents of four living children and a stillborn daughter.

Mark is a contributor to 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me and an author of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament. Along with his weekly pulpit and leadership ministry, Mark is also a conference speaker, a member of The Gospel Coalition council, and a trustee at Cedarville University.
About the Book
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy • Where do you turn when the dark clouds of pain, suffering, and loss roll into your life? In a broken world, difficult trials can lead quickly to discouragement and despair—even for Christians. But the Bible sets forth an oft-neglected practice for dealing with such trials: lament. To lament is to turn to God in honest, desperate prayer, giving voice to the reality of our emotions—as intense and tumultuous as they may be. Ultimately, lament is an expression of faith in the God who hears our cries and responds with mercy and grace. Drawing on examples from the Bible and his own story of loss, pastor Mark Vroegop walks through steps of lament (Turn, Complain, Ask, and Trust) to show what lament is, why it is important, and how to enter into it—helping readers learn to live between the poles of God's goodness and the pain of a hard life.
Helpful Articles from Mark
Dare to Hope in God: How to Lament Well
The practice of lament is one of the most theologically informed actions a person can take. While crying is fundamental to humanity, Christians lament because they know God is sovereign and good. Christians know his promises in the Scriptures. We believe in God’s power to deliver. We know the tomb is empty, and Jesus is alive.
Strong Churches Speak the Language of Lament
Christians believe in the goodness of God, and they know the arc of the plan of redemption: creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. In the meantime, as we long for the completion of that glorious plan, we lament. That’s why lament shouldn’t be missing from our praying, singing, teaching, or counseling. We should allow it to bring grace to small group meetings, grief recovery groups, or pastoral prayers in the midst of a national crisis.
*Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission. Keep in mind that I link to these resources because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. This does not affect the cost of the resource, and the decision is yours whether you choose to purchase them from my link or not. Thanks for your support!
About Your Host
Christine M. Chappell
Author/Writer/Speaker
Christine Chappell is the author of Clean Home, Messy Heart, Help! My Teen is Depressedthe host of IBCD's Hope + Help Podcast. She is passionate about advocating for biblical one-another care and discipleship in the context of the local church. Her writing has been featured at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Risen Motherhood, Servants of Grace, and other Christian platforms. Christine blogs regularly at christinemchappell.com and lives in South Carolina with her husband and three children.
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