A Brief Book Notice from Books at a Glance
Lament is how you live between the poles of a hard life and trusting God’s goodness.
Lament is how we bring our sorrow to God–but it is a neglected dimension of the Christian life for many Christians today. We need to recover the practice of honest spiritual struggle that gives us permission to vocalize our pain and wrestle with our sorrow. Lament avoids trite answers and quick solutions, progressively moving us toward deeper worship and trust.
Exploring how the Bible–through the Psalms of lament and the book of Lamentations–gives voice to our pain, this book invites us to grieve, struggle, and tap into the rich reservoir of grace and mercy God offers in the darkest moments of our lives.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Joni Eareckson Tada
Introduction: Life in a Minor Key | A Personal Journey
Part 1: Learning to Lament | Psalms of Lament
Keep Turning to Prayer | Psalm 77
Bring Your Complaints | Psalm 10
Ask Boldly | Psalm 22
Choose to Trust | Psalm 13
Part 2: Learning from Lament | Lamentations
A Broken World and a Holy God | Lamentations 1-2
Hope Springs from Truth Rehearsed | Lamentations 3
Unearthing Idols | Lamentations 4
A Roadmap to Grace | Lamentations 5
Part 3: Living with Lament | Personal and Community Applications
Making Lament Personal
Let Us Lament
Conclusion: Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy | The Journey Ahead
Appendix 1 Twenty Complaints
Appendix 2 Psalms of Lament
Appendix 3 Learning-to-Lament Worksheet Appendix 4 But, Yet, And
About the Author
Mark Vroegop (MDiv, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary) is the lead pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a conference speaker, a council member with the Gospel Coalition, a trustee of Cedarville University, and the author of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy. Mark blogs at markvroegop.com.
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:
I had never read a book like this before. If you are hurting or trying to help someone who is, or if you are attempting to lead your church to recover and experience what God’s Word teaches about lament, this is a book you will want to read.
M. Daniel Carroll R., Blanchard Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College:
Born in a father’s grief and marked with a pastor’s wisdom, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy teaches each of us and the church how to pray along the journey of loss and despair. Vroegop presents biblical guidelines for bringing honest complaint and bold petition before God and for choosing to steadfastly trust in the One whose mercies never end.
Brian Croft, Senior Pastor, Auburndale Baptist Church, Louisville; Founder, Practical Shepherding; Senior Fellow, Church Revitalization, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:
Too often Christians feel the pressure to pretend the gospel diminishes pain, while others lament their pain void of biblical truth and hope. I have longed for years for a book to demonstrate a balance on this issue. Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy captures beautifully the unique and powerful grace of the gospel in Christian lament. The book is well written, winsome, and refreshingly transparent. I wept as I read it.
Abigail Dodds, author, (A)Typical Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ:
Lament is the language of exiles and aliens, of the suffering and downcast. But it is also the language of a people who know how the story ends. This book teaches us that pouring out our complaint to God is an act of faith and hope. In a world where sorrow has been politicized and death hidden away, let Mark Vroegop teach you the Christian language of lament that gives voice to our sadness and our desperate need for God.
Courtney Reissig, author, Glory in the Ordinary:
Mark Vroegop has written a book that is a gift to the church―both to the one suffering and to the one who wants to help the sufferer. Through his own personal loss and practice of lament, he helpfully guides us in lament, showing us that to lament is Christian and to lament is to find hope even in the greatest pain.
Donald S. Whitney, Associate Dean and Professor of Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Lifeand Praying the Bible:
I am intensely grateful for Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy and would place it among the most important and influential books I’ve read in the past few years. If you are going through hard times, this book may provide more insight and comfort than any other book except for the Bible. If you are in ministry, please allow Vroegop to help you discover how ‘the grace of lament’ can serve the many hurting people in your congregation.
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author, Adorned; Teacher and Host, Revive Our Hearts:
I have watched as Mark Vroegop and his wife have navigated the difficult journey of loss, and I have witnessed in their lives the sweet fruit of godly lament. Vroegop provides a hope-filled guide to experiencing the mercy of God in the darkest nights, through the vital, healing grace of lament.
Buy the books
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament