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Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament

4.71  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  24 reviews
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
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 31st 2019 by Crossway Books
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4.71  · 
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 ·  56 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Wagner Floriani
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The most encouraging book I have read in years. Best quality of the book was the effect it had on me in the manner which it made me talk about suffering with others. I’ll return to this work often!
Bambi Moore
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you have never been to the house of mourning you’re either not very old or you’re lying 🤥. 1/3 of the Psalms are laments, and we have an entire book of the Bible named Lamentations. This book explores sorrows of life in a gentle, humble way that springs from the author’s own journey through pain and suffering of losing a child. I really marked this one up. Even in grief, we choose to “trust the One who keeps us trusting.” Also an excellent resource for counseling others.
Nathan White
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
For awhile now I've been looking for a book on the biblical liturgy of lament, and I found this one to be an excellent starting place. I will be recommending this book far and wide.

What I liked most about this book is that it is so full of scripture. Vroegop doesn't just give us a theology of lament, but he shows us from the Psalms and from Lamentations. A major section of the book is simply working through some of the lament passages in scripture.

Essentially, Vroegop argues that lament is bib
Amy Morgan
Talking to my pastor recently, he said that he thought as people got older, they became more empathic and better equipped to help others in their suffering. I disagree—getting older doesn’t automatically translate to being equipped, but those who have walked well through their own suffering are incredible resources of strength and comfort.

This book begins in Mark’s own journey with suffering, and he walks readers through the practice of lament in four easy stages: turn, complain, ask, and trust
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mark Vroegop's book Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy is a much-needed read for today’s Christian Church. It fills a void for real encouragement and Biblical exposition for our pain. It is well-written, to-the-point, and compassionate for those experiencing suffering. I especially enjoyed Mark’s stories from him and his wife’s own griefs, and from how he’s seen lament serve those he’s ministered to. I commend this book to all who are looking for language to talk to God in their pain, and looking for hope ...more
Steve Cox
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible read! It has caused me to rethink my response to trial, tragedy and suffering. So often I’ve thought and said, don’t ask “why” but only focus on learn the “what” and “how”. What should I learn? What is God doing? How can I respond like Jesus? How can I please God in this situation?

Learning to lament is so much more and I am so thankful for the message of this book challenge my thinking. I can not recommend this book more highly!! Excellent read and an incredible blessing!
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was extremely helpful in describing lament--giving lots of Scriptures and personal stories. I especially loved the first part and the appendices. The reasons I didn't give it 5 stars are that there is a section where the author uses the word "should" several times (even in one paragraph). "Should" feels guilting/shaming to me. The second reason for the 4 stars is the book is extremely redundant.
David Steele
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Life is a series of events that is filled with moments of intense joy and seasons of pain and suffering. Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy by Mark Vroegop is concerned with the later. The author is acutely aware that people who live in a fallen world will inevitably face what William Cowper refers to as the “dark clouds of Providence.”

There have been a few notable contributions in recent days that address the subject of suffering. Tim Keller’s, Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering and Paul David Tr
This decade, and especially the last 2 years, have given me ample opportunity to grow well-acquainted with grief. Grieving, however, is not something I seem to be mastering with practice. Granted, I have some idea now what to expect: the initial physical as well as emotional incapacitation, the unexpected and inevitably inconvenient waves of fresh tears, the gradual lessening of the intensity of those first days, the sadness of firsts and anniversaries.

Deep down, I know that lament is the wise,
Stefanie Sugia
"When the circumstances of life create dark clouds, I hope you'll come to embrace lament as a divinely given liturgy leading you to mercy. This historic song gives you permission to vocalize your pain as it moves you toward God-centered worship and trust. Lament is how you live between the poles of a hard life and trusting in God's sovereignty."
This book came at the perfect time for me. Not too long ago, I was reading my Bible and came across a Psalm that is filled with groaning and complaints t
First sentence from the introduction: Learning to lament began on my knees. “No, Lord!” I pleaded. “Please not this!” It was 2004, and my wife, Sarah, awakened me, concerned that something was wrong with her pregnancy.

First sentence from chapter one: Who taught you to cry? The answer, of course, is “no one.” Although you don’t remember it, the first sound you made when you left the warm and protected home of your mother’s womb was a loud wail.

Dark Clouds Deep Mercy is a must read book for Christ
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The prayer language of lament is often overlooked by today's followers of Jesus, and in this concise book Mark Vroegop presents the reason that it is so important, and he goes on to show his readers lessons and examples in both the Psalms of lament and the book of Lamentations. Prayers of lament are not an angry tirade against God, but rather a turning to prayer with honest complaint, a recognition of God's goodness and mercy, and a choice to trust God instead of circumstances. The book is well- ...more
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding, profoundly helpful book that deserves a wide readership! It is both shaped by the laments of Scripture, and applied helpfully with personal stories and specific applications. The author is not merely a theoretician, but one who has walked through a great loss and learned lament through His suffering. Whether you are currently going through trials or merely desire to help others in their struggles, this is an outstanding resource. It also helps recapture the whole biblical idea of la ...more
Yoshua David
May 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
It’s not that I finished the book, but that I’m finished with it - I can read no more due to the level of ignorance.

> he states that Lament is Christian, while using & quoting from the Old Testament, which means it’s Jewish, not Christian.

> he claims God is a trinity, but that idea is no where found in Scripture when it’s read correctly.

> he states that there is never a reason to be angry at God, but saying that to people yet growing can cause very serious problems in their spiri
Wes Van Fleet
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy is a book I am glad to have and wish I had earlier. Vroegop takes readers through the structure and purpose of the lament Psalms and Lamentations. As a pastor, I have freed people over the years to lament and not move to fast through grief and sorrow, but this book has helped me see so much more.

Vroegop’s work should be mandatory reading and practice in the church. Not only does it teach and model how to lament and move towards trusting God, but the book is filled with s
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The message of biblical lament needs to be proclaimed in our day, and Mark Vroegop does a wonderful job bringing it to our contemporary culture. He navigates between the extremes of sinful grumbling and trite hope. Each chapter builds on the previous, and (if applied) will help to bolster your faith in the God who is close to the broken-hearted and who made his love plain through the greatest suffering imaginable: the Cross.

I’m thankful for the contribution this book brings to the western world.
Barb Butz
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s a bit of an oxymoron to consider an encouraging book on lament, but the author has provided just that. This book blends both a practical and biblical approach to an under-explored topic for many Christians. Each chapter closes with thought-provoking and relevant questions to ponder. This book has broadened and deepened my understanding of the role & purpose of biblical lament in the life of believers. I am grateful for it.
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a pretty good book on an important topic, but it would have been better at the length. The style is wordy and filled with too many, “By now, I hope you” get what I’ve said many times over, find my insights ground-breaking, and the like. I skimmed the last few chapters; I’d gotten the gist. The gist is good and worthwhile, but the prose is too often tedious to read. ...more
David Head
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Important work on the neglected theme of lament— a Biblical way of processing hurt, pain, loss, confusion, and grief. Helpful for individuals and a call to the church to recognize and incorporate lament into our spiritual formation paradigms, community life, and worship.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a powerfully helpful book in understanding the necessity and grace of lament in the life of the Christian. Vroegop writes from long, painful, personal experience as he’s walked along a journey of lament. Even if you’re not in the midst of hard times right now, read this book!!
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the past I know I have said the wrong things and failed to say the right things to hurting people. It has taken various experiences and input from others to begin to know how to benefit hurting people well. Mark Vroegop’s Dark Clouds Deep Mercy will bless the church as it is a concise, clearly developed guide to the biblical concept of lament. As he demonstrates, lament can help us enter into the lives of hurting people. Vroegop describes lament as “the honest cry of a hurting heart wrestling ...more
Dennis Thurman
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a needful book! Pain is everywhere in our broken world. Here is a book that helps to address it in a meaningful way. The church needs to learn the language of lament.
Matt Dellinger
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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
“The lament of Good Friday was answered three days later with the empty tomb. The greatest injustice in history became the greatest display of divine mercy. Tragedy became triumph. Lament was the voice in between.” 1 likes
“Lament is the language that helps you believe catastrophe can become eucatastrophe. It vocalizes the pain of the moment while believing that help is on the way. Lament gives us hope because it gives us a glimpse of truth.” 0 likes
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