DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

                 Index

 
Godly Grieving
 

I. Intro:

A. Examples of unresolved grief

Genesis 27:42
When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, "Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you.

Rebekah tells her younger son of Esau's plan to avenge himself. Word in Hebrew for "avenge" closer to comforts himself...from the loss of his father or the shame?

Genesis 37:35
All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said, "in mourning will I go down to the grave to my son." So his father wept for him.

B. Godly examples of grieving

- Godly men mourned after Stephen was stoned to death.

Acts 8:2
Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. The Ephesian elders grieved they would never see Paul's face again: When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. 38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again.

Acts 20:36-38
36 The Ephesian elders grieved they would never see Paul's face again: When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.
37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.
38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again.


Jesus weeps with those mourning over Lazarus' death, even though he obviously knew he would raise him to life. He felt their pain.

John 11:33-36
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"


II. Healthy Grieving

A. Passion

1. Weep: Weeping can be healthy...you actually secrete hormones in your tears. Weeping is not only acceptable, but can be therapeutic. We find Jesus weeping in the scriptures more than once

Luke 19:41-44
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it
42 and said, ďIf you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peaceóbut now it is hidden from your eyes.
43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.
44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of Godís coming to you".


(John 11 and Matthew 26)

Sometimes right after someone dies, there's a lot of planning...funeral, flowers, talking to friends, relatives...Reserve time, even if just an hour or two a day until after everyone departs...and then afterwards, take more time. Plan time to mourn!

2. Celebrate life: Grieving for not being together physically is normal, but learn to celebrate life as well. Thank God for having known someone that you have lost, for His creation intersecting your life for the time He gave you together. Think about the good things about your loved one:

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirableĖif anything is excellent or praiseworthyĖthink about such things.

3. Be Open: Everyone mourns differently, alone, with friends or family. Be humble and let people know what you think you need. Sometimes we may just need someone to cry with you. Other times you may need time alone. If you're not sure, be open about not knowing. It's sometimes helpful to talk to someone who may have been grieving a lost one recently. Normal grieving can last up to five years...keep being open about your thoughts and feelings. There are many helpful books that can help you grieve in a healthy manner. Get advice.

4. The more we go towards pain, the more we can experience joy as well...passion.

B. Our Comforter

5. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.


6. Jeremiah 31:13
Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

7. If you have Biblically repented and got baptized for the forgiveness of sins, you have the the indwelling Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Pray that He comforts you from the inside. Receive a divine hug from the inside.

8. Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

C. Only God Knows your Heart

Nobody really knows what's best. Good intentioned people may say very wrong things. (Job's friends did well... until they opened their mouths; Peter in Matt 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9 not knowing what to say when he sees Elijah and Moses talking to Jesus asks if he could build tents...good intentioned people can say stupid things...have grace for them).

You don't really even know yourself. Your heart is deceitful.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

God knows you perfectly.

Matthew 10:29-31
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Fatherís care.
30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 So donít be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


He knows you and knows what you need. Go to Him. No one understands you better than your Father in heaven. Grieve together with Him.

John 11:33-36
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"


Jesus weeps with the mourners.

If you have trouble praying, your heart may be numb, protecting itself from much needed grief. Have someone pray with you and get you started.

D. Eternity: set in men's hearts.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Death of a loved one brings people face to face with eternity. No one knows this better than someone who just passed away. It's not the time to meditate on where they may be unless heaven is a certainty. No matter where a loved one may be, it can be certain their plea would be for those left behind to know God.

Loved ones may be more open to discussing God and heaven right after a loss. Pray for those still here to seek Him.

John 13:34
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Jesus says we will know him by the love we have for one another. Many times in the kingdom, people seek God through our love for their lost one and for one another.

If someone did not make it to heaven based on His word, understand God is grieving with you. Nobody loves your lost one more than God. Grieving together will help you draw nearer to God.

E. Conclusion:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, 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.
14 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.
15 According to the Lordís word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.