Even when you think you have it together it can strike you like a match that is striking flint. How do you survive this pain? How do you learn to enjoy life without feeling guilty for being happy? The answers to these questions aren’t as unreachable as you think.
Grief is a part of life and God knew it would be painful for you to face. That is why He spoke so many Bible verses about grief to guide you through this painful experience. Navigating grief is exhausting and difficult. There are no instructions or steps to follow. So how do we navigate this emotional turmoil?
How does a person begin to heal from grief?
The first thing to realize about grief is that it is different for each person. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Though there are no instructions there are stages. Even these are not the same for each person. While you may start with denial another person may start with anger.
A person may go back and forth between some of the stages during the process of grief. The most important thing to remember is that it is okay to grieve in a way that works for you. No one can tell you how to work through the process of mourning your loved one.
Recognize that you are not alone
When you are in the middle of your grief, it is easy to feel alone and abandoned. Feelings of being the only one that hurts so bad you can’t breathe. One popular verse about not being alone is found in the book of Isaiah.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10, ESV
Knowing that you are not alone will help you be able to reach out to others during this time. The heartache of losing a loved one can sometimes weigh so heavily on you that you just don’t believe there is anyone who will ever understand that level of pain. Rest assured that there is someone who does understand. Trust God’s word when you read that He is with you. Many verses reaffirm that you are not alone.
Sometimes family members are not the ideal people to discuss these feelings. After all, they too are experiencing the loss in their way. Pastors and church leaders are excellent sources for finding someone to help you examine Scripture for more hope when your heart has been through such a loss.
It won’t always hurt this bad
As cliché as it may sound, it won’t always hurt as badly as the first minutes of your loss. It doesn’t seem like that is even a nice thing to say, but many have said, it will become easier to remember your loved one without the harsh pain of those initial moments of loss. We find this promise in the book of John chapter 16:
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. – John 16:22, ESV
There will come a day when you can think of that person and not lose the ability to breathe normally. You will be able to see their photo and not feel like you are going to faint. Meditating on God’s word and listening to encouraging praise music are two tools that you can use to get your mind off of the pain. It will allow you to refocus your thoughts on the love of the Father and the peace of Jesus.
Trust that despite the sorrow, you will feel joy in your soul again. Don’t think this means that you will not think about your loved one – quite the contrary. You will long to hold them and talk to them. You will be hit with the overwhelming desire to see their smiling face one more time. Navigating heartache in this world is not easy.
The joy that gives you strength won’t be found in a quick fix of any kind. This joy is only found in the love of God. Sometimes that love looks like a friend who just sits with you while images of your loved one play through your mind. Even though the pain is so turbulent in the beginning, there will be a day when it is different.
Trust the healing on the inside
One of the greatest books to find Bible verses about grief is in Psalms. In this book of the Bible, David shares many verses concerning overcoming grief and learning to find joy in the most agonizing time of your life. In these scriptures, you will find how to find healing in your soul. The thing about grief is most of the time there are very few outward signs of the depth that it goes.
Red eyes are one of the most tell-tale signs that grief is weighing heavy. Tears are such a big part of releasing grief. Weight loss is another physical appearance that sometimes manifests when grief is overwhelming. To heal on the outside, you must first begin healing on the inside.
One of the soul-healing verses that you can meditate on is found in Psalm 147. Verse 3 gives you a promise that God will always fulfill.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3, ESV
You know how to bandage a wound on your arm or leg, but when it comes to a wound that involves your soul you find that you don’t have any idea how to manage that wound. This is where you learn to trust the healing on the inside that begins with meditating on God’s word.
Trust the healing that comes with His promise to heal that hurt that is currently taking up space in the depths of your heart. Trust that He will not only bandage that wound, but He will heal it so that you can say it is well with my soul.
Finding peace in the storm
It seems like there is no peace during this chaotic mess of pain. You may even wonder if you will ever again feel peace. Look again in the book of Psalms and find 34:18:
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18, ESV
Peace can come from understanding that the Lord is near. When you know that you are not alone you can find the peace that will bring rest and hope. It may not seem like there will ever be a day of breathing without consuming pain. But God promises that He will save you from becoming crushed.
The most quoted scripture regarding peace is:
No place on earth can bring you the peace that Jesus has left you. As you seek to find the peace that will calm the storm within your heart, realize that true peace is found when you trust the God who gave His son for us to experience this peace that passes all understanding. A peace that the world cannot give. In times of a troubled heart such as the loss of a loved one, you can trust the peace that God sent to walk among the people of the world.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27, ESV
During this time there will be situations in which you need to have a clear mind to make decisions. God also promises that you will have peace of mind to make those decisions. He doesn’t leave anything to chance when it comes to any aspect of your life. This is how you find peace in the storm.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7, ESV
The hardest part about grief is that people have thoughts about what their loved ones will miss since they are no longer present with them. You have probably had these types of thoughts yourself. “He won’t see his children grow up.” “He won’t be able to travel anymore.” “She won’t be here to watch him play ball.”
They think that they must be sad because they will miss something in this ever-changing world. Rest assured that they are not feeling any of those things. Numerous Bible verses lead us to believe that our loved ones are not experiencing any sadness or feelings of missing us. If your loved one trusted in Christ’s finished work on the cross for their salvation, then God’s word promises us that they are not missing us like we think they are.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 5:6, ESV
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4, ESV
In these two verses, you can see the reassurance that if your loved one was a Christian, they are not going to be consumed with sadness or heartache. They are in the presence of the Lord, and they are consumed with the simplicity of seeing Jesus face to face.
It’s okay to not be okay
God’s word mentions many times that there will be mourning as long as we live in this world. No one is immune to this pain. No one has the exact way to process this grief. The only given about grief is that it won’t last forever and that there will be mourning.
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. – Isaiah 61:3, ESV
This scripture describes mourning and those who experience the heaviness of its pain. It promises you that there will be beauty when you think there is nothing but sorrow. There will come a joy from this pain that will be exchanged with mourning.
When you feel like you are just too worn from the emotional depletion of grief you can find rest.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28, ESV
Knowing that you are going to be okay doesn’t mean that you have lost any faith. Being okay with grief doesn’t mean that you do not miss your person. It simply means that you are accepting the process of grief and that you trust God with that process. There is no greater release from grief than to trust God and understand that it is okay to not be okay.
You will find comfort
These are just a few of the Bible verses about grief that will help you navigate this process. It is a personal journey that no two people will take the same path. It will look different for everyone. The one true constant in everyone’s experience is that there is a place of peace and comfort. Though it is not found in a physical sense, it is available to all who seek and believe.
If you feel that you need help during the grieving process, please feel free to reach out to a counselor or a pastoral member of your church. Many people are willing to help you navigate this journey and exchange your ashes for beauty.
“Depressed”, Courtesy of Elyas Pasban, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Candles on the Water”, Courtesy of Mike Labrum, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Anguish”, Courtesy of Dorrell Tibbs, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Depressed”, Courtesy of Tammy Gann, Unsplash.com, CC0 License