"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" [Galatians 6:2]. The "law of Christ" is summed up in loving God and loving people. Thank you for all the ways you are expressing our Savior’s love to those who are grieving. I thank God for you. I’m praying for you as you minister God’s comfort.
“Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live…” John 11:25
When grief invades our day, it’s disorienting. For a moment, we’re thrown off balance by it: tears blur our vision, our posture crumples, and all other thoughts are filled with pain. Grief floods our memories as blood to a wound.
Even though grief can be aggressive, pushing it back is not helpful. Engage it.
The Scriptures exhort us to be informed as we grieve, and not to grieve as those who have no resurrection hope [1 Thessalonians 4:13-14]. We are informed by engaging our grief when it surprises us—by remembering that Jesus died for our sins, rose again, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and promised everlasting life to those who believe. One day soon, there will be no more death or grieving or crying or pain.
As Christians, when we engage our grief, we use it as an opportunity to look to our Savior, we remember the certainty of God’s unshakable promise—a living Hope that anchors our souls when the swells of grief churn.
We cannot separate hope from grief because we are co-heirs with Christ. When we grieve, we do so with the assurance that, as the Pulpit Commentary suggests, “the tears of Jesus…have authorized and sanctified Christian sorrow.” Think of it: when Jesus wept, Hope grieved. How strange! The One who would be raised from the dead still experienced grief and sorrow. Just minutes before He raised His beloved friend Lazarus to life, He wept at the tomb of His friend. It is good and right to mourn over suffering and loss—even when we know how the story ends—because pain is real and suffering is real and they both beg for genuine engagement with Christ, our Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace.
In this world, we will be visited by the bully of grief, but we take heart because Christ defeated death once and for all. A biblical response to grief doesn’t involve ignoring the pain, nor does it involve believing we are hopeless because of it. Instead, the Bible encourages us to engage grief as informed people of God, with a humble surrender and settled assurance. Humble surrender, because we feel the weight of our sorrow, mourn what death has separated, and confess our dependence upon God in all things. Settled assurance, because the Holy Spirit grants us confidence in God’s promises, reminding us that we have an eternal Hope, death does not have the final word.
Our faith is made strong by engaging—not ignoring—our grief. We cry, Lord, I feel this pain and it breaks my heart, but You weep with me and promise to set things right one day. You are not asking me to bear something you have not experienced Yourself. Therefore, I have hope and take comfort, for I know my Redeemer lives.
Grief without hope is uninformed and forgets the resurrected Christ. But grief and hope engaged on parallel tracks of faith offers breathing room for the bereaved and solace for the mourner. We cry the tears and do not forsake them. We remember our hope and do not refuse hopes comforts. And in this bittersweet exchange of raw emotion and memory, we hear the tender whispers of Christ’s consolations: “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” [John 16:22].
Much love and care,
Greece Assembly of God
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