Grieving person

What does the Bible say about grief?

I guess God was preparing my heart when He had a friend invite me to preach at their church in March. They asked me to come speak and attempt to answer the question, “What does the Bible say about grief”. I was hesitant, concerned I would not get through without crying. 

My recent losses had been heavy. My Mom to Covid and a friend to suicide. Not to mention the “non -death” losses, which were plentiful to say the least. 

I agreed to do it nonetheless. And honestly I was glad I did. It was good for my heart. And many people told me it blessed them as well. 

See Libbie’s teaching on Grief (starting at 35:00) by clicking here

Grief comes again

I was proud of myself for growing, allowing God to stretch me. And then seemingly out of the blue grief came charging in again…like a freight train. 

My sister called to let me know my Dad was not well. I packed up and headed to Alabama to be with him. June was a crazy month with the back and forth. In between trips to Alabama we had my youngest sons graduation party at home. So I was focused and probably somewhat distracted. 

And then, it happened. At the end of June I heard my Dads voice for the last time. Well, I do still have a couple of voicemails I have saved. But I will not see his face again this side of heaven. He took his last breath on this earth, and opened his eyes to the welcome of our Savior. 

And man has it been hard.

So much harder than I had imagined. 

Grief doesn’t ask permission

It comes in waves. Waves of sadness and sometimes regret for what should have been or could have been. It comes in unexpected tears mixed with gratitude and smiles. Grief is an odd companion that doesn’t ever ask permission to enter. Yet it’s best not to turn him away. It’s best to entertain him until he tires of the memories and stories and leaves to return again some other day. 

How does God want us to deal with grief?

I’ve been processing my grief, taking it in as it comes. In fact, in July I read a book called “Your New Now” by Nicki Koziarz. I highly recommend it for anyone facing any kind of transition in life. In this book she recommended writing letters to your losses. I made a list of people and things I have mourned the loss of in recent years. I tackled the letters one at a time. Then I tucked them away and revisited them one at a time. With each re-read I allowed the tears to fall, and as they fell I took them to the Father and asked Him to heal my broken heart just like His Word says He will.

It was good. It was needed. It allowed me to express my deepest feelings that were just too hard to say to anyone else. 

Not only did I read this book, but I took a break from life for about 5 weeks. I really did. I cancelled speaking engagements, events, and logged off of social media. I just needed some time alone with God to let Him heal my heart. And this was even better medicine for my soul than writing those letters. Being with God in my grief reminded me that there is hope that can only be found in Him.

There is a hope that can only be found in Jesus, it can level off our emotions.

But what does the Bible say about grief?

Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit to be our comforter. I’m so grateful for that promise. So amazed that He always comes through. This is one of my favorite promises.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the [a]Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you.

John 16:7 ASV

What’s more, The Bible is full of scriptures that touch on grief, comfort, and strength for this life. Here are few below:

God will take away all their tears. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All the old things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4 NLV

Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:4 NIV

He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3 NIV

The grief is not over, I know. It doesn’t ever go away in this life, but it gets easier. And one day He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more sorrow and no more pain. And I will be together with those I love once again. 

Check out our blog, Is the story of Christmas in the Bible?

Photo by Alex Green

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