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.

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)

Faith in times of crisis

No matter how devastating, irreversible, or hopeless things seem when you’re facing a major setback or a life-threatening situation, you can choose to continue to actively trust in Jesus and refuse to let go of that abiding trust. Faith isn’t the absence of fear; faith is what overcomes fear.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. We wouldn’t be hoping for something if we already had it in our hands. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) We wouldn’t need evidence that something is real if we could see it with our eyes.

You know that God will ultimately make things right in the next life, but that knowledge doesn’t lessen the struggles of possibly facing very painful experiences or death. At this moment in time it’s not the next life that you are having to deal with, it’s the present.

It can be pretty scary when you’re in a bad situation and you can’t see any natural way out of the dilemma. But that’s when faith comes to the fore. You just have to keep believing and trusting, no matter what things look like.

You have to keep walking on the solid ground of what God has told you to do in spite of dire circumstances, knowing that no matter how hopeless it looks or how bad things get, Jesus has you in His arms.

You may feel afraid of what you’re facing. You may not see anything you can do to fix the situation you’re in. But God’s intervention in your life isn’t based on your self-confidence. It’s based on your belief in Him and your trust in His unlimited power, goodness, and love.

You just have to believe that God can bring about what is best in His time and His way, if not in this life, then in the life to come, because you trust Him. Faith knows what is most important to know: “God will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

None of us know what lies ahead. We often can’t know if that setback we’re facing or the things we’re suffering will be gone in a minute or a month, or if they will last a lifetime. What faith knows is that Jesus will not leave us comfortless; He’ll be there walking with us.

Jesus is proud of us when we look at the waves and the winds of adversity and do like Peter did with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Bid me come out to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28) He was ready to jump right into the challenges because he’d seen God’s power in Jesus and was ready to put himself into those hands that he trusted would never fail him.

What are the challenges that you’re facing? What impossible situations are looming big in your life? Will you step out on the waters to meet Jesus right now so that His power can be manifested in your life? Take the step of faith, and even if you feel that momentary sinking feeling at times, you only have to call out to Him and He’ll bring you through in His perfect time and way.

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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One hundred percent

by Steven Furtick

I’ve told the story of my grandfather before in different venues. Papa, as we called him, was one of the greatest men of God I’ve ever known. But he also experienced one of the greatest hardships I’ve ever seen. Papa watched his wife of over 50 years slowly lose her mind and body to Alzheimer’s. By the end, she started to literally scream curses and obscenities at him. But he handled it with more grace and faith than you can imagine. Regardless of grandmother’s condition, he would go every day to the nursing home and comb her hair and tell her she was beautiful until they would kick him out.

Papa died about eighteen months before Grandma passed away. The final scenes of their marriage were pitiful, really, from a purely earthly perspective. Healing never came. And it broke Papa’s heart. But still, surprisingly, every time you would ask Papa how he was doing, he’d always say the same thing: 100%.

As a kid, it always bothered me that he said

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