Christian Counselor Spokane
You are here, reading this because you are grieving. Maybe you lost a family member, a friend, a pet. Your loss could be a relationship that is fractured, a job or home you loved, or possibly you are grieving the loss of health in some way.
Bible Verses About Grief
The Word of God has a lot of Bible verses about grief and loss. Many of the Psalms, much of the book of Job, and lots of parts of the prophets. In the Old Testament, there is a whole book devoted to the loss of family and country. It’s called Lamentations.
Traditionally attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, the five short chapters go deep in the sorrow that shook the kingdoms of Israel and Judah when their home and lands were conquered and destroyed, and they went into exile.
Jeremiah knew grief. The experience was deep and visceral. If you are going through a period of grieving, you may find that reading Lamentations gives you some language to express that grief to God.
God is big enough to hold your grief. He doesn’t expect you to come to a place of having your emotions all organized. God can handle your anger, your hurt, your screams, and your tears. Whatever range of emotion you can express it to God, just like the prophet did.
Read this excerpt from the middle of the book of Lamentations.
Remember my impoverished and homeless condition, which is a bitter poison. I continually think about this, and I am depressed. But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope: The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant! “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself, so I will put my hope in him.
The Lord is good to those who trust in him, to the one who seeks him. It is good to wait patiently for deliverance from the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let a person sit alone in silence, when the Lord is disciplining him. Let him bury his face in the dust; perhaps there is hope.
Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him; let him have his fill of insults. For the Lord will not reject us forever. Though he causes us grief, he then has compassion on us according to the abundance of his loyal kindness. For he is not predisposed to afflict or to grieve people. – Lamentations 3:19-33
There is a pattern presented here to lament, an example of how to embrace the grief and learn how to find your way to comfort from God. The five stages of grief are helpful, but sometimes Christians need to know that their grief is something that they are allowed to practice. Here are four steps based on Lamentations 3:
Bible verses about grief: Sorrow
The worst thing you could do with your sorrow is to deny it. In verses 19 and 20 you read, “Remember my impoverished and homeless condition, which is a bitter poison. I continually think about this, and I am depressed.” Embrace the sorrow you are experiencing. You know what it is, but maybe you have been spending time trying to ignore what you have been feeling.
Maybe you have been so busy with the demands of life that you have not given yourself the time to be sorrowful. Your days are spent running around taking care of the details of life. But at night, your sorrow catches up to you. All the things you have ignored through your day hit you hard at night.
Instead of fighting to suppress the sorrow, take time to express the sorrow. Let your heart, mind, and body feel the feelings. Cry, scream, release the emotions.
Acknowledging that there has been a loss is an important first step in receiving comfort from God. Sometimes you might think it is better if you bury it and move on. That would be a form of denial. You don’t want to have sorrow because it hurts so much. If you do this it will fester into bitterness that is far harder to heal than sadness and depression.
Bible verses about grief:Farther on in the passage, you can read, “It is good to wait patiently for deliverance from the Lord.” Your busyness keeps you from expressing your sorrow, but it also keeps you from leaning into your faith.
If you have ever had a truly good cry, you know that afterward, your body settles into a calm and relief. There is a stillness that comes from releasing your sorrow. Much like the clearing of the air after a storm, there is fresh air filling up the space that was once full of wind, lightning, and thunder.
You will learn to find hope, “But this I call to mind; therefore, I have hope: The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end.” Stillness gives you the space to see the goodness of the Lord. Fighting your grief is tempestuous and exhausting. There is no comfort to be found in fighting your grief. Practicing stillness can give you the chance to rest, which is the only way to comfort and heal.
Bible verses about grief: Silence
After expressing sorrow and settling into stillness, the time comes for silence. “Let a person sit alone in silence, when the Lord is disciplining him.”
Silence is an expression of trust in God, “The Lord is good to those who trust in him, to the one who seeks him.” You may not like waiting. You may want to be doing something. If you are busy trying to solve things your way, you are not trusting in God. Silencing your tendency to be the loudest voice. Silence the voices that are competing for your attention.
God speaks through his word, but not if you are trying to make it say something that you want it to say. Trust God to speak in the silence.
Bible verses about grief: Season
Know that this is not how it will always be. “For the Lord will not reject us forever. Though he causes us grief, he then has compassion on us according to the abundance of his loyal kindness.”
Change is the constant of life, and this applies to our emotional experiences as well.
You will not always be in a season of grief; you just may not have a clear end date. The season of grief looks different for every person and every loss. The loss of a job is a different season of grief than that of grieving a death. Do not compare your season of grief with anyone else’s.
Don’t compare your style of grieving with that of another person. Yours could be long or short. It could be cyclical, grief making a return around stress or certain anniversaries. Seasons come and go regardless of what the calendar dictates and you do not need to have a deadline for your grief.
Regardless of the situation that brought grief into your life, the prophet has given us a model for seeking comfort in God. Express your sorrow to God, find rest in stillness, trust in silence, and be patient through the temporary season.
Grief is a normal and healthy reaction to situations in life that are troubling, but also inevitable – death, loss, sickness, relational separations, transitions in life, etc. all merit such a response.
Christian Grief Counseling
Counseling, from a Christian perspective, may help bolster faith and enhance one’s walk with the Lord. Grief is not a matter of weakness. All people need support at one time or another in life.
In closing, in addition to the above Bible verses about grief, here are a few versus on the importance of seeking counsel:
A nation falls through a lack of guidance, but victory comes through the counsel of many. – Proverbs 11:14
Plans fail without advice, but with many counselors they are confirmed. – Proverbs 15:22
Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. – Proverbs 13:10
. . . for you should wage war with sound guidance–victory comes with many counselors. – Proverbs 24:6
Plans are confirmed by getting advice, and with guidance one wages war. – Proverbs 20:18
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