Getting Up After Grief: Grieving God’s Way

5 Mins read

None of us like the idea of grieving, as it typically comes with great loss. When you think grief, you probably think about the pain of losing a friend or family member to death. However, there are other instances where grief is something that we must confront. Today, discover more about how to deal with grief God’s way. The Bible says that Christ felt everything that we feel, and that includes grief. Today, let’s look to his example and find out more about grieving God’s way.

Psalm 34:17-19 (NLT)
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

Each of us can look back over our lives and find some instances of grief. Perhaps you were still young the first time that you had a run-in with grief and you suffered the loss of a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Maybe grief didn’t become a part of your story until much later in life, and your grief involves the end of a marriage, the death of a dream, or something else that isn’t quite as tangible.

The fact remains that each of us, if we’re being honest, have dealt with grief in some capacity during our lives. We all have a past, and we’ve all tried to use some ineffective methods to get around the painful parts of it.

Have you ever felt like you’re haunted by the past? If so, it’s very likely that you’re relying on some ineffective methods of moving on from your grief. Instead of grieving God’s way, you’re allowing your grief to dictate how you respond.

When we look to Scripture, we can find practical tools to defeat what is trying to defeat us, in this case, grief.

The passage we just read from Psalms declares that the Lord hears His people when they call out to Him, He rescues them, He is close to them when they’re brokenhearted, He rescues them when their spirits are crushed, and He rescues them out of trouble each time.

One of the most dangerous aspects of failing to grieve God’s way is that it deprives you from achieving peace for your past. When you’ve tried everything to cope with your grief, but you still feel like the pain is as raw and as real as it was at the beginning, it’s impossible to experience everything that God promised in this passage.

Today, let’s discover what it means to experience good, Godly grief. The Bible declares that Christ faced everything that we have to experience, and that includes grief. Today, allow yourself to experience grief God’s way. When you do, you will find peace for the past and promises for the future.

Grief is Not Perpetual

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (ESV)
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

While there are many different causes of grief, the death of a loved one is the primary thing that we think of when considering grief. In this passage to the Church at Thessalonica, Paul said that he didn’t want them to grieve like those who didn’t know about the promise of the resurrection. In essence, Paul didn’t want them to grieve like people who had no hope of ever seeing their loved ones again.

Grief, while it is a harsh reality that we all must face from time to time, is not meant to be something permanent. Instead, it is something that we pass through. If you’re dealing with the grief associated with the death of a loved one, allowing yourself to get through the grief doesn’t mean that you suddenly don’t miss them. However, it does mean that you don’t allow the pain of that moment to be the driving force in your life.

When you live your life in a perpetual state of grief, you’re focusing so much on what was that you’re losing sight of who God is.

The Promises of God

Matthew 5:4 (NIV)
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

That statement is a direct promise from Jesus Christ. The Sermon on the Mount, which spans three chapters in Saint Matthew’s Gospel, is generally considered the most popular collection of Christ’s teachings. Contained within those three chapters, there are foundational truths that apply just as much today as they did 2,000-plus years ago when Jesus said them.

Comfort is a promise to those who experience mourning. Take a moment and truly allow that to set in. When we don’t allow ourselves to experience comfort, we are denying ourselves the promises of God. Our faith is built on the foundation of God’s promises. We believe His promise that He will save everyone who believes in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We believe His promise that we will spend eternity with Him because of that promise. Yet, we often don’t believe the promise that He will comfort us when we grieve.

Why would we declare that God’s promise of comfort isn’t good enough, but His promise of salvation is? Certainly, that’s not something we would ever do if we were taking an objective approach to grief. We would never tell God that His promises were insufficient, but when we opt for grief over comfort, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Today, look for any areas where you’re cutting yourself off from comfort. Are there parts of your life where you’re holding onto pain? If so, allow the comfort of the Holy Spirit to penetrate those areas so you can embrace the promises of God.

Following Christ’s Example

Isaiah 53:3 (NLT)
He was despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Isaiah’s book of prophetic declarations is considered one of the most profound looks at Christ’s life. That is remarkable considering that Isaiah saw the life of Christ somewhere between 600 and 800 years before He lived.

Christ was rejected, despised, and was considered “a man of sorrows.” Life was never really easy for Jesus. How could it be? From the time He was a child, He was fully aware of what was ahead of Him. When He was only 12 years of age, Mary and Joseph lost Him in a crowd they were traveling with, only to find Him in the temple, teaching the scholars.

As His life went on, he continued to deal with sorrow. While we don’t know when Joseph died, it is generally accepted that he passed away sometime between Christ’s adolescence and the onset of His ministry, as there is no mention of Joseph after the incident when Jesus was 12.

As He transitioned into adulthood, Christ’s interactions with sorrow continued. He was rejected by His hometown, abandoned by friends, and doubted by Mary and Joseph’s other children. However, He was only “acquainted” with grief.

That’s the model that He wants us to follow. Dr. John Townsend said, “When one remains in perpetual grief, the sadness and anger lead to depression.” The term “acquainted” that was used in Isaiah means that Christ briefly interacted with grief. You could say that He “shook hands” with it in a passing moment. He refused to let it be the driving force in His life.

When we embrace the example that He has set for us, we recognize that we must acknowledge grief. Your sadness and anger need to go somewhere. However, when you “shake hands” with grief instead of embracing it, pulling it in close, and refusing to let go, you’re grieving God’s way.

A Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help me to grieve better. I’m not denying the pain that I’ve felt and the pain that I continue to feel, but today, I ask You to take away its hold on my life. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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