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 (John 11:35). 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” (Psalm 42:11).
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 (Psalm 62:8; 1 Peter 5:7; Revelation 6:10)
- Know that God has a Plan (Genesis 50:20; Isaiah 46:10; Romans 8:28)
- Take Refuge in God’s Promises (Psalm 18:30; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 13:5; 2 Peter 1:4)
- Devote yourself to Today’s Priorities (Matthew 6:34)
Let us be sensitive towards those who experience grief by praying, supporting, loving and caring for them.
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).