Pastor Josh Walters answers the question “what does the Bible say about grief” by sharing some Bible verses about grief, and sharing his own personal journey through grief.
This Is Us – Part 3: A Guide for Grief – Josh Walters
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. John 16:33 (NLT)
5 STAGES OF GRIEF
• Shock/Disbelief – Individual believes the news is somehow mistaken and they cling to a false, more preferable reality.
• Anger – Individual acknowledges that denial can’t go on forever. The become frustrated, especially towards those closest to them.
• Bargaining/Guilt – The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control through a series of ‘If only’ statements. If only we had _________. Guilt often accompanies bargaining because we believe there is something we could have done.
• Depression – It is challenging for the individual to overcome their sadness. They may become silent, withdraw or refuse visitors.
• Acceptance and Hope – Individual embraces their mortality and inevitable future, or that of a loved one. This stage comes with a calm retrospective view and a stable condition of emotions.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NLT)
THREE THOUGHTS THAT LEAD TO LIFE
1. I SHOULD GRIEVE
When Jacob died (Genesis 50:3 and 10 ESV): v3 And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days. v10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days.
When Aaron died (Numbers 20:29 ESV): And when all the congregation saw that Aaron had perished, all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days.
When Moses died (Deut 34:7-8 ESV): Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
When Saul and Jonathan died (2 Samuel 1:11-12 ESV): Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
2. I SHOULD GRIEVE IN COMMUNITY
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:26-27 (NIV)
When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. Job 2:12-13 (NIV)
Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15 (NIV)
3. I SHOULD GRIEVE IN COMMUNITY WITH HOPE
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (NIV)