10 scriptures to help you pray through grief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Bob Hostetler

When it comes to sharing our sorrow, there’s no better place to turn than God’s own words. God is close to those who grieve.

We may grieve for a friend or family member who has died or a loved one who has strayed. We may mourn the loss of a pet or a job or a prized possession. We may experience grief when our health wanes or a relationship sours. Whatever the source of our pain, the Bible assures us that the Lord “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

When we experience loss, it only hurts more to ignore it or deny it; healing comes when we acknowledge and express what we’re feeling. While it’s therapeutic to talk to friends and counselors, there’s no one better to hear our sorrows than our gracious, compassionate and loving Lord.

There’s also no better way to pray through our grief than with the words of Scripture, allowing God’s own words to flow through our minds and hearts. Here are 10 scriptures that anyone can pray through grief:

1)  2 Samuel 12:23
“I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). Or turn it around to heighten the promise in the verse: “He (or she) will not return to me, but I will go to him (or her).”

2)  Psalm 31:9 
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief (Psalm 31:9).

3)  Psalm 34:18 
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).

4)  Psalm 73:21-26 
When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever (Psalm 73:21-26).

5)  Psalm 119:28
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word (Psalm 119:28).

6)  Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).

7)  Matthew 5:4
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

8)  John 16:22
“Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22).

9)  1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
We do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

10) Revelation 21:4 
“‘[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

These are a mere sample of the many Bible verses that will help a grieving person process and pray through a season of grief. Feel free to print them and pray them as often as necessary, and even add other verses as you encounter them in your Bible reading.

Drawing on God’s strength

Allan Tabaro

Just before Christmas a few years ago, I was involved in a car accident that almost took my life. I sustained a spinal cord injury to my T4 vertebra, leaving me paraplegic, paralyzed from the chest down, and confined to a wheelchair.

Nothing can prepare anyone for coping with paraplegia and disability, especially to the extent that you have to rely almost completely on others for assistance. Suddenly the things you had taken for granted, like getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom, are no longer possible because your body refuses to function.

Questions flood your mind, and fear, doubt, and anxiety can get the better of you. It was like being in a bad dream, struggling to come to terms with what was happening, and hoping to wake up.

My family and friends were encouraging and stood by my side, but in the end, the difficult choice to stay positive and carry on with life is always a personal one. In my experience, though, it is possible to carry on.

It’s tough to deal with disappointment, and we always want to figure things out, but if faced with something man or money cannot fix, who do you turn to for answers? I had nowhere to turn but to God. My girlfriend gave me a Bible and told me I would find the answers I was looking for in it. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else,” I read, “and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33) I set out to keep my end of the bargain, and God has been faithful to keep His.

I’ve learned that He isn’t surprised by our moments of pain in the valleys; in fact, He’s quietly waiting for us to call out to Him so He can enlighten our darkness. It’s one thing to be a Christian, and another to truly know who Jesus is.

God showed me that He cared as much about the condition of my spirit as that of my paralyzed body. Before my injury, I was easily distracted by the things of this world, and I got my happiness and security from them. Now I know that none of this compares to the love of Jesus, which comforts to the uttermost.

He will heal the wounds and sicknesses of our souls and plant seeds of hope in the most difficult conditions. His light will shine into the deepest valleys. “[He] is our refuge and strength and a present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.—Eleanor Roosevelt

To the finish line!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author unknown

We can find inspiration from the life of John Stephen Akhwari, as told in Bud Greenspan’s book 100 Greatest Moments in Olympic History.

When the winner crossed the finish line in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic marathon, the officials and spectators thought that had been the highlight of the race. Then, an hour later, John Stephen Akhwari, a runner from Tanzania, entered the stadium. Bloodied and bandaged from a fall, and with a dislocated knee, he limped painfully.

As Akhwari made his way around the track in the setting sun, the remaining crowd began to cheer loudly. When he crossed the finish line, you would have thought by the roar of the crowd that Akhwari had been the victor.

Later, when asked why he had not dropped out, Akhwari replied, “I don’t think you understand. My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.”

When you’re bruised and bloodied by life, press on; your Creator did not send you here to start the race, but to finish it! “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1–2)

Dr. A. B. Meldrum put it this way: “Bear in mind, if you are going to amount to anything, that your success does not depend on the brilliancy and the impetuosity with which you take hold, but upon the everlasting and sanctified bull-doggedness with which you hang on after you have taken hold.” Or in other words, “Fight the good fight of faith!” (1 Timothy 6:12)

The Scottish minister and hymnist George Matheson was someone else who didn’t quit, despite the onset of blindness. His advice: “We conquer—not in any brilliant fashion—we conquer by continuing.”

Keep going, no matter what the cost. Keep fighting, no matter what bruises you get. Keep running, no matter how many times you stumble and fall. Your cuts and bruises and scrapes and scars are medals of honour in God’s sight, signs that you had the faith, courage, determination, and commitment to keep going even when it was tough! You may have fallen, but you refused to quit.

At the end of the race, you’ll be able to say, like the apostle Paul: “My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me.” (Acts 20:24)

Now isn’t that amazing

The solution to our problems and despair may not be as hard as we imagine.

Let’s say you’re going through a desperate time and have lost your bearings, or are experiencing loss, suffering, grief, or big changes in life, to the point that you question how you’re going to go on.  Sometimes in the midst of problems and hopelessness, you can barely even have faith that God will hear you. What can you do?

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Dealing with dragons

By Marie Story

Have you ever faced a challenge? A challenge that seemed so big and scary that you wanted to run away from it before you even assessed its enormity and level of difficulty? We all reach these points in our lives when we say to ourselves, “I’m too small to tackle what’s ahead.”

Dealing with scary challenges isn’t easy. It takes a whole lot of courage.

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