Grief is the emotional pain that accompanies loss. 2020 has been a year of grief for many of us. We’ve lost jobs, relationships, money, dreams, traditions, experiences, a sense of normalcy, and some of us have even lost loved ones. When the waves of grief are crashing on your life or the dark sadness will not lift, there are three unshakeable truths that can sustain our intimacy with, and even joy in, the Lord.
THE LORD IS NEAR
Psalm 34:8 says, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” When grief rises, we remember that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and he loves to lift up the crushed in spirit. The Lord is spatially everywhere, but he is especially with the grieving, to bless and protect them. In fact, the gospel message itself is the good news that, far from standing at a distance from our pain, the Lord entered into our fallen world to rescue us. The Bible says that Jesus himself was a man who was acquainted with much grief (Isaiah 53:4), so he can sympathize with our grief. My grieving friend, the Lord is no absentee divinity. He is near to you!
THE LORD HEARS
The Lord is near to hear you. In Hosea 7:14a, speaking about his grieving people, the Lord says, “They do not cry to me from the heart, but they wail upon their beds…” The Lord is not rebuking his suffering people for crying. Rather, the Lord says that they are crying in the wrong direction. Everyone cries; the question is in what direction. Remember, Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven.” “Our Father” communicates warmth and “in heaven” communicates power. The Father that we cry to is as compassionate as he is capable. He stoops to hear the cries of his grieving people. My grieving friend, the Lord hears your laments. He hears your prayers in pain. Cry to Him!
YOUR FUTURE IS BRIGHT
Grieve and cry as those who have hope. Perhaps my favorite passage on grief comes from 1 Peter 1, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials” (1 Peter 1:3-6). My grieving friend, you have been born again through faith in the resurrected Christ. You’ve been born into a future family inheritance that is imperishable. Set your hope fully on the day when Jesus will return and grief will be no more, and rejoice. Your season of grief is not worth comparing with the eternal weight of glory that is coming to all who love Jesus. Grieve, but not as those who have no hope, because your future is incredibly bright.
Yours in Christ,