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What Does the Bible Say About Grief? Where’s the Hope?

No one likes grief, do they? After the loss of a loved one, we may try to hide our feelings by putting on a smile. We may also constantly give that automatic response of “I’m fine” anytime someone asks how we’re doing. On the other hand, if we’re watching someone grieve, our hearts long for them to be happy again. But if we push too hard for their happiness, it may reduce their ability to grieve as needed. As much as we may hate it, grief is a part of life.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

Yes, we will experience grief in this lifetime. God’s word not only gives us permission to grieve, but also promises comfort and hope as we endure it. Together, let’s look at a few passages we can lean on as we grieve.

JESUS EXPERIENCED GRIEF

Jesus Grief

In the gospel of John, we find a well-known, easily quoted verse. “Jesus wept.” While it’s the shortest verse in all of Scripture, this two-word passage is packed full of significance. In this story, Jesus returns to the home of Mary and Martha after the death of their brother, His friend Lazarus. Upon seeing Mary weeping, His heart broke with hers as He began to weep as well. 

If Jesus wept over His lost loved one, we know that it’s ok for us to do the same. Even though His weeping was short-lived as Lazarus was raised back to life in the following verses, our Savior still found it necessary to grieve. Our grief may last a lot longer than those few moments Jesus endured, but His tears give us permission to shed as many tears as we need, too.

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GOD IS CLOSE TO THOSE WHO GRIEVE

Close in Grief

If you’ve suffered through grief at the loss of a loved one before, you may have noticed a feeling of loneliness accompanying your sorrow. Maybe you still feel that loneliness all this time later. But the truth is that we aren’t alone. In fact, not only does God’s word promise that He is always with us, but it specifically says that God is close.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.

Psalm 34:18

King David, the writer of this psalm, was well-acquainted with grief. First, his best friend Jonathan died. Then his first child died. But during those times, he appeared to discover a comforting truth that God gets close in those heart-breaking seasons. And His immediate presence is exactly what we need in those moments.

WE CAN STILL HAVE HOPE IN GRIEF

Hope

It may seem completely illogical that hope and grief can exist at the same time. However, for those who’ve lost loved ones who were believers in Jesus Christ, the coexistence is a beautiful thing.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Isn’t that incredible news? They may be gone from this earth, but we will see them again! But what if we’re mourning one who didn’t believe? Where’s the hope in that? Thankfully, there’s a promise we can cling to in the final book of the Bible:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.

Revelation 21:4

Our sorrow and grief may indeed last for the night. But joy will come in the morning.

RELATED: Top Christian Song Encourages “Everything Will Be Alright.”

CASTING CROWNS' SCARS IN HEAVEN

Scars in Heaven

Many of our LIfe 90.5 listeners have found tremendous hope in their grief lately with a timely song from Casting Crowns. Frontman Mark Hall wrote the song for his mother after he watched her lose both of her parents. Take a listen and find some encouragement in the song today for yourself too.

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