Three Hopeful Truths about Grief


By Warren Olson

An old pastor was on his way home one evening when he was approached by a visibly distraught woman. She had recognized him and needed someone to talk with. So he asked her to sit down and share what was going on. She told him how her daughter, whom she loved very much, had recently passed away. And she shared how alone and miserable she was.

For her, home wasn’t home anymore. The joy that had once filled the air was now replaced by a cold, dark silence. And every night, she would lay her head down and cry herself to sleep.

The grip of grief is a tight one – one that feels like it suffocates you in sorrow and drowns you in despair. Whether it’s caused by the loss of a loved one, a family breaking apart, or facing the reality of death yourself, grief leaves a deep, empty feeling in your gut that just won’t go away. But when we look at the Bible, we see three hopeful truths about grief that can help us loosen its grip on our lives.

When we look at the Bible, we see three hopeful truths about grief that can help us loosen its grip on our lives.

 First, grief is real, and it hurts. King David himself was a man who was well acquainted with grief and sadness. He wrote in Psalm 31:9-10,

 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.

 It’s often easy to think that our grief is something we should just “get over.” But the truth is that grief can and should be brought to light. In the context of others, share your grief and invite them to help you deal with it. And of course, take your grief to God. He loves you and will never leave you alone in your sorrow. That brings me to the second hopeful truth about grief.

 God grieves with you. The very same King David who was wasting away from grief in Psalm 31 writes in Psalm 34:17-18,

 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

David knew that God wouldn’t abandon His children in their grief. In the deepest pit of despair, God is right there beside His grieving sons and daughters, and gives them the grace they need to move forward and find healing from their sorrow. And He’s not just with us in our grief. He’s also promised to end grief once and for all. That brings me to the third hopeful truth about grief.

Because of Christ’s death on the cross, grief is temporary. Even when it seems there’s no end in sight to your suffering, you can trust that on the cross, Christ has “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4, ESV). That means a day is coming when grief’s grip will be broken forever!

A day is coming when grief’s grip will be broken forever!

John gives us a clear picture in Revelation 21:4 of what that day will be like,

He 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.

No more grief. No more pain. What a wonderful day that will be!

If you’re grieving today, remember, Jesus is there even in the darkness. He’s right beside you. And His presence can give you the hope you need to loosen grief’s grip on your life.