Four12 article image for 'Those Heartache Days' addressing disappointments, suffering, trauma, disease and death.

Those Heartache Days


The day my best friend died. The day my father died. The day our son died. The day I was told, “You have colon cancer”. The day I was told, “Sorry, the cancer has now metastasised to your liver”. These have been some of my heartache days.

Is There More Heartache Ahead?

What’s coming next? The truth is, none of us know, do we? It’s a mystery that we can’t stop from unfolding. One moment we may be basking peacefully in the sun, and the next, bashed and battered on the rocks. Life is like that – nothing is constant or guaranteed. Even as a God-fearing and God-loving man, I have come to accept the fact that heartache and trauma are inevitable. If not today, tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, sometime in the future, often when least expected.

This life forces one to agree with the early philosophers who said, “In the midst of life, there is death”. Jesus made that quite clear to us all by saying, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT). Well, there you are – Jesus Himself tells us that it is coming our way, whether we are ready or not.

Even as a God-fearing and God-loving man, I have come to accept the fact that heartache and trauma are inevitable.

Suffering ‘Well’

But even if you live well into your 90’s and are happy, well-loved and you have loved well, it is still most likely that you won’t be ‘ready’ to leave this life. Because this life is all you have known. Looking at the difficult life of Jesus Christ, especially during His final three years on earth, Scripture gives us insight into a secret He had about enduring and suffering ‘well’. It was this secret that enabled Him to navigate the unbelievable heartache and rejection He experienced, then the excruciating torture He was subjected to, climaxing in His crucifixion at Golgotha.

Jesus’ secret was that He always looked beyond the ‘here and now’ and pictured the ‘there and then’. His secret was that He focussed His mind and all His hopes on the future. His secret was that He saw what God the Father had promised Him and put His full confidence in His Father’s powerful love to accomplish it. His secret was that He lived for the day He would arrive in heaven as the resurrected King of Glory. Scripture says, “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:2 (NLT).

His Secret Must Become My Secret

When difficult circumstances, harsh disappointment, sickness, disease and even the death of precious loved ones have driven me onto the rocks of unexpected storms in this life, I must remind myself of the joy awaiting me and my loved ones. Paul reminds us all: “I consider that our present sufferings in this life are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18 (NIV).

The Hope of ‘That Day’

Oh yes, there are many times I miss my son so much that tears overwhelm me, and I deeply long for him to walk through the door so I can hug and kiss him again. But I know that is not going to happen. Which is why Paul tells us again; “I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NKJV). The promise Jesus Christ gave us of ‘that day’, and what awaits each of us who love Him and long for His coming, is what keeps me sane and inspired to live my life with enthusiasm, filled with His joy.

Let’s never forget, in all this heartache and unbelievable disappointment that we are forced to confront, either now or later, that “We are not essentially human beings having a temporary spiritual experience, but rather spirit-beings having a temporary human experience.” We are waiting for that day when we will receive our new immortal bodies and minds with inexplicable joy. When we will live together with the Godhead and all who love Him, for all eternity. No more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain.

William and his wife, Pam, started ministering in 1980 and served on eldership in Joshua Generation Church in South Africa from 2010. William was a key apostle who ministered and taught across the global Four12 field of partnering churches. He joined his beloved Saviour in 2021 and is sorely missed.

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