Thoughts for the Bereaved

Few things test our faith like the loss of one we love. Feelings of loneliness, hurt, and even anger well up within us, and we cry out to God with many questions. Does God's word provide any comfort to us during times of such intense loss? It is my prayer that these verses will do just that.
You may read these verses, just as they are presented here, and hopefully they will provide comfort. However, many of them will provide much greater insight if the entire passage from which they have been taken, is read. I encourage you to use these verses as a stepping-stone to searching your Bible for the comfort you need in your time of loss. Look the verses up... read the context, and the entire story which surrounds them. As you read the word of God, He will comfort you in His way, and in His time.

Is it wrong for me to grieve this loss?

David grieved the loss of his child by Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:15-23)
David grieved the loss of his son Absalom. (2 Samuel 18:33; 19:4)
Job grieved the loss of his children (Job 1:18-21)
Jesus grieved for Lazarus! (even though He was preparing to restore him to life!) (John 11:34-38)

Where is my loved one now, and will I ever see them again?

2 Cor 5:8 (KJV) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (Note - The moment we are absent from the body, we are in the presence of God.)
2 Sam 12:21-23 (KJV) Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. (Note - David knew that he could do nothing to bring his dead child back to life, but he would see him again someday.)
Luke 16:22 (KJV) And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; (Note - When we die, we go directly to heaven.)
Mark 9:4 (KJV) And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. (Note - Moses and Elias were long dead, and yet here they are talking with Jesus. Read this passage and see that if they were alive to speak with the Lord, so is your loved one. If we will see Moses and Elias again, we will also see our loved ones again.)
READ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
READ John 14
READ Romans 8 (especially verses 35-39)

Why do these feelings of grief stay with me so long? Will God ever provide relief?

Psa 27:14 (KJV) Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Isa 40:31 (KJV) But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Prov 3:5-6 (KJV) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Psa 30:5 (KJV) For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

What attitude should I try to have throughout the grieving process?

Job 1:21 (KJV) And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (Note - We should trust God, and yield to His sovereign will, as Job did. He knows what is best for us.)
Eccl 7:2-4 (KJV) It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. (Note - We should seek God's instruction even in this situation in our life. What is He trying to teach me here? How is He trying to make me better?)
2 Cor 1:3-4 (KJV) Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (Note - Recognize that this experience will help me to comfort somebody else in the future, when they go through a similar experience.)
2 Cor 12:9 (KJV) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Psa 42:5 (KJV) Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
Rom 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Does God care that I feel so bad?

Psa 9:9-10 (KJV) The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Psa 31:7 (KJV) I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
Psa 34:4 (KJV) I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Psa 46:1 (KJV) To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psa 50:15 (KJV) And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Psa 55:22 (KJV) Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Psa 138:8 (KJV) The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Psa 147:3 (KJV) He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
Lam 3:31-33 (KJV) For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
Mat 5:4 (KJV) Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Luke 6:21 (KJV) Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright 1996 William E. Johnson.