In the last two years, we have all known so many people that have died, some at a very young age. Not all of these are due to the current worldwide pandemic, and one may begin to wonder what is really happening to our world. For our loved ones grieving, we often wonder how to encourage them in their grief and sometimes, we can’t find the right word. How do we encourage someone who lost their only child or a newly married wife who suddenly loses her husband after a few months of marriage ?.
Sometimes, the grief is so deep that we can’t find the right word to say. Sometimes we don’t really need to say a word, just being there for the grieving person may be all we need to do. When we can’t find the right word, the word of God will do what he only can do, which is to comfort. The Holy Spirit does the work of comfort, and he will comfort us when we grieve.
The bible says we should rejoice with those who rejoice, and we should grieve with those who grieve but what do we do when our loved ones are grieving? How do we encourage them to use the scriptures? What does the bible say about grieving?
For the grieving person, they may not even feel like reading the word or praying the word; the grief may be too intense for them to be able to focus or settle into doing anything else than to grieve their loss.
In October 2015, I lost my dad suddenly, he was ill for only about four days, and no one thought this illness would end in death. It took a while for me to process the whole situation and come to accept that he has completed his course and has gone home to be with the Lord. I remembered that singing brings comfort to me; amid my grief, God kept giving me songs of faith, and I will just burst out into singing, and as I sing, I receive my comfort.
Everyone deals with grief differently; I was comforted knowing that my dad is in heaven, and God also reassured me that He is indeed in a better place. This is different from the familiar cliche: Oh, that Christian has died, and he is in a better place. Somehow you wonder if they truly made it to heaven. God cleared this doubt for me when my father died, and I had a reassurance in a dream that truly my dad made it to heaven. That revelation kept me during my moment of grief, and rather than being sad, I was thrilled that he made it, and I will see him again on the resurrection morning.
Practical ways to encourage those who grief
- Be there for them. Listen listen and listen to them . Some people will want to talk about the experience whilst others will just want to be left alone to process the grief and maybe talk later. Talking is a way of release for some but not everyone. There is no one rule that fits all. You are only there to listen.
- Allow them to freely express their emotions or if they choose not to at the time, that is also fine. Some will cry initially and it’s okay to cry. But others may choose not to cry and that’s ok too. You don’t have to forbid them from crying or force them to cry. When I lost my dad, I remembered a dear friend who out of her care and concern encouraged me to cry and that it’s so bad that I haven’t actually cried. We are all wired differently, I did cry but not at the initial stage.
- Offer your service. You can help them with shopping, cooking or cleaning.
- Keep a check on them. Send them a text, a song or a verse that can encourage them.
- Show that you truly care. Even if you don’t fully understand how they are feeling, it’s okay to show sincere love. Don’t try to offer advice on what they should do or not do, allow them to process their way through the grief and you just show them love and support along the way.
12 Encouraging Bible verses during the time of grief
1. ''Don't be afraid ,''he said,'' for you are very precious to God.Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!'' As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him,''Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me,'' Daniel 10:19 NLT
2. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying , neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4 KJV
3.When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your comforts delight me . Psalms 94:19 AMP
4. This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life. Psalms 119:50 NKJV
5. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold , thy King cometh unto thee: he is just , and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Zachariah 9:9 KJV
6. But He replied , ''My gift of undeserved grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak'' So if Christ keeps giving me his power , I will gladly brag about how weak I am. 2 Corinthians 12:9 CEV
7. Even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness , fear will never conquer me, for you already have!Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I'll never be lonely, for you are near. Psalm 23:4 TPT
8. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness , the planting of the Lord , that he might be glorified Isaiah 61:3 KJV
9. There will be joy and songs of thanksgiving, and I will multiply my people, not diminish them ; I will honor them, not despise them. Jeremiah 30:19 NLT
10. We have this certain hope like a strong , unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself . Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold . Hebrews 6:19 TPT
11. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death 1 corinthians 15:26 KJV
12. So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes and he went into the house of the Lord and worshipped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 2 Samuel 12:20 NKJV
The Bible in Ecclesiastes says for everything, there is a season. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. Grieving is a natural response but when it becomes extended beyond a period of time, then professional help may be required. Most health systems will offer bereavement counselling which has been shown to help so many to come to terms with their grief.
The time of grief can also bring anxiety and low mood. Check these posts on 7 practical ways to overcome anxious moments and 15 ways to lift yourself when you are down. You can also check our free resources page to download a free printable on 10 scriptures to pray with when you are down.
I pray for anyone going through a period of grief that you will find peace, joy and comfort even at this very difficult time and for those whose loved ones are grieving, I hope you find the resources shared useful to help you encourage your loved ones.