Published Jan 27, 2022
By Deb Burma
Several years ago, I lost my little sister to complications related to her severe special needs. As my parents mourned the terrible loss of their daughter, and as loved ones searched to provide them with words of comfort, my mom and dad expressed their sorrow openly.
“She’s with Jesus,” they said, again and again.
Their words of certain HOPE pointed others to HOPE as well. This is the HOPE you and I have. Jesus promised us that our loved ones who die in the faith are at rest with Him, free from the sorrows of this life and home with their Savior. One day, we, too, will be with Jesus. And there is more! We have Christ’s promise that He will return on the Last Day, at the final resurrection.
Amid a storm of sorrow, especially sorrow over death, we ache with the pain of our loss. We need to be able to express our sorrow. At the cross, “the crowds . . . returned home beating their breasts” (Luke 23:48) to express their grief.
R&R: What can you do to express your sorrow and grief? What could help you face it, work through it, and allow God to provide peace and healing in it? As you read each expression [below], look up the attached verses too…
Cry out to God; He knows what’s on your heart already. Express it to Him in words and groans; trust Him to work through them. Read Hebrews 4:16; Romans 8:26–27.
Communicate with a pastor, a Christian counselor, and friends who will listen, pray for you, comfort you, or simply weep with you. Read James 5:16; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Romans 12:15.
Cling to God’s promises, fulfilled in Christ and true for you today. Read 2 Corinthians 1:20; Matthew 28:20; 1 John 5:18; Philippians 4:19; Romans 6:3–5.
Comfort others as God comforts you. Trust Him to use another person’s stories, experiences, and sorrow to provide healing for both of you. When you offer empathy to another hurting soul, you are both blessed, as you also receive a reminder that you are not alone in your suffering. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3–4.
Carry on, in His courage. He has meaningful work for you until He leads you home too. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17; Ephesians 2:10.
If you are sinking beneath a tidal wave of sorrow, know that your Rescuer has come. You have not been left to battle the storm by yourself…
Yes, storms of sorrow rage, sometimes without warning. Sometimes, they will overtake us for a time. When it feels as if we have fallen into the heart of the sea (Psalm 46:2), we trust that He holds our head above the waves. We will not drown in our sorrow. He will turn it to joy. Because Jesus is risen, we can cling with confident HOPE to His promise of a coming day:
The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17)
And God “will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
[Excerpted from Session 8 of Be Still & Know, by Deb Burma. © 2021 CPH.org. Used with permission.]