Trials, testings, and suffering can be very painful. Such difficulties can come in various forms – one of which is loss. Losing a loved one is a horrible tragedy. The excruciating experience of loss will result in grief. Grief is that normal process in which an individual displays sorrow and anguish as a result of loss. It is a painful experience that tears someone apart emotionally.
Grief is not something the Christian ought to seek to escape, deny or hide. Rather, the believer must strive to get through it by means of embracing a biblical mindset that will grant understanding, comfort and hope. Of course, this does not suggest that getting through the grieving process eliminates all sadness and loss. It is wrong to ask someone who has experienced loss to simply get over it. Grief and sorrow create darkness around us. The only means that will shine light on our situation is the Word of God.
Is grief OK? Sure it is. As noted earlier, grief is a natural response to loss. The Lord Jesus Christ experienced this form of natural grief (). The important question I ask is, how can a grieving individual get through the grieving process? The individual needs hope. The psalmist asked himself a question and found the answer: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” ().
How can you find hope in the midst of grief? The answer is, it is exclusively found in the Lord. Biblical hope is not wishful thinking (“I hope my team wins” or “I hope I’m finished soon” etc.). Biblical hope is confident assurance and it refers to that which is certain. Practically speaking, what are the means of embracing such hope in the dark process of grief? Here are four principles that will help the believer to find hope in the midst of grief:
- Make use of Personal Prayer (; ; )
- Know that God has a Plan (; ; )
- Take Refuge in God’s Promises (; ; ; )
- Devote yourself to Today’s Priorities ()
Let us be sensitive towards those who experience grief by praying, supporting, loving and caring for them.
35 Jesus wept.
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
30 This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.