At some point, all of us will feel the sting of loss. The Bible says, “It is appointed for people to die once” (Hebrews 9:27). None of us can escape the sting of death. We will also experience the loss of loved ones, friends, family members, fellow worshippers, co-workers, and neighbors. Death brings sadness because of the separation it creates. Some cases are worse than others. The loss of a parent may not necessarily hurt as bad as the loss of a child, but it leaves a vacuum in our hearts nonetheless.
Some may think that grief is unspiritual. I have sometimes seen weeping believers apologize for their tears. I tell such people to not be sorry. The level of our love will determine the intensity of our grief. Sadness over death is normal. Jesus Himself cried at a funeral (John 11:35). In times of loss, grief should be expected. If we don’t grieve the loss of a loved one, it is evidence that something is amiss in our souls.
The Bible acknowledges that we will face grief, but it encourages us to face it in a special way. It says we are to “not grieve like the rest, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We are to grieve courageously with an air of hope. Such virtue involves a confident expectation in Divine promises.
When you face the dark night of the soul, know this — there are some promises in God’s Word that can help you. You may never get over your loss, but you can get through it. The truth of God can strengthen and sustain you. It can help you persevere. Though others may not understand, and though your emotions may swing back and forth, there is an anchor for your soul in Christ. Consider four helps for your soul.
God Loves You
One of the greatest statements in the Bible is this — “God is love” (1 John 4:16). When you are bereaved, keep believing that truth. The Lord has proved His love through the most sacrificial way possible (John 15:13). Satan wants you to believe that God doesn’t care about you. It is one of his oldest lies (Genesis 3:5). Don’t believe it! Regularly tell yourself that God loves you!
God is With You
Jesus’ last earthly words to His disciples contained a promise that He would never abandon them (Matthew 28:20). He fulfilled His promise by sending His Holy Spirit to live within their hearts (John 16:17). When you go through a tragedy and trial, remember you have a friend who is closer than your closest family member (Mark 3:34). Talk to Him, rest in Him, cast your cares upon Him, and enjoy His presence.
God’s People Can Help You
It has sometimes saddened me to see people allow a trial or tragedy drive them away from church. The Bible teaches that the body of Christ is meant for our encouragement (Hebrews 10:25). When you are going through grief, go to church! The Bible says other Christians should “comfort those who are in any kind of affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
There is a Hereafter
When Jesus told His disciples about His pending departure, they were saddened. He sought to comfort them by saying, “I am going away to prepare a place for you” (John 14:3). Though there are a lot of wrongs in this world, Jesus will one day make them all right! Trust in that truth!
Dr. Patrick Latham