Encouraging Bible Verses for Seasons of Mourning and Grief
Loss is something that most of us will face in some form or another at some point in our lives. Whether it is the termination of employment, reduction in mobility or quality of life, or the death of a loved one, whether expected or unexpected, loss can be devastating.
The effects are long-lasting and life-changing. If not processed properly, the grief that one experiences can bring on a host of other mental health conditions, including (but not limited to) depression, anxiety, anger issues, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts and behavior.
In such times, it is wise to turn to God’s Word for help. Reading and meditating on encouraging Bible verses about loss can help you fight off depression and find comfort from the God of all comfort who alone is able to give us peace.
Encouraging Bible Verses for Mourning and Grief
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3
Though it can seem as if God is distant or uncaring when we have experienced loss, in this Scripture for loss we read that God is compassionate. He cares for those who are brokenhearted, tenderly bringing healing to their wounded hearts.
This does not mean that everything will suddenly be better, but when you have suffered loss and are in the middle of the grieving process, let the psalmist direct you to reflect on God’s loving character and look to Him in faith.
…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
In times of loss, it is common to experience fear. What we had depended on to be there for us (whether a person, a position, or something else we deemed important) is now gone and in its place has come fear – fear that nothing is permanent or even stable.
In such periods of emotional weakness, it can seem as if God is absent. As Isaiah teaches us, however, that this is far from the case. God is always with us and though we may not always realize or recognize it, we are constantly being strengthened and upheld by him.
He will wipe away every tear from their 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
In this verse, we have the precious promise of the world to come. The new order of things will not include sadness, tears, or pain because this world of sorrow, misery, and sin will be swept away. Whatever pain or loss the Christian may experience in this life will be wiped away by the sheer fact of God’s presence.
Not only that, but whatever caused the loss, even death itself, will no longer exist because the old order of things will be gone. Though we still have to live in this world, we can rejoice in the glorious truth that all will be made right in the next.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:26
When we have suffered a loss, it can feel like our heart has been shattered and the effects on our body can be profound. Just getting up in the morning and moving through our day can seem like insurmountable tasks.
In these sorts of situations, it is necessary to orient ourselves on God, our ultimate reference point. Everything must be understood as it relates to Him. When feeling beaten and broken, we look to God for strength and for the eternal sustaining grace that He promises to His children.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18
Not only do we have the promise that God will hear us when we cry to Him for help, we read that God comes alongside those who are downcast and depressed saves them. He does this by giving them Himself. His grace is the answer to our pain.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
Admittedly, this verse has been misunderstood and misapplied by many in our time. Though often taken to mean that “everything works out for the best for everyone,” this verse is actually a promise made only to God’s children – those who are “called” according to God’s eternal purpose.
For the Christian, then, all things are done for his good. Though loss is undoubtedly painful and unpleasant, the Christian can move through the grief that accompanies that loss with the knowledge that God has permitted it for his or her good.
This is not to say that it is easy. The sin that we are born with (and which Satan loves to agitate) will attempt to make us look accusingly at God and draw our hearts away from Him. It will try to get us to focus on the loss instead of on the God who made us.
But regardless of how painful the loss may be, the Apostle Paul promises that everything that happens to us is for our good. Loss is designed to detach us from the love of this world so that we become more focused on the next. It also causes us to put our trust more firmly in God, who wants the ultimate good for His children.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27
Let’s face it, the world makes numerous promises of peace. It promises peace if you eat certain foods, behave certain ways, know certain people, etc. In other words, it promises peace if you become like the world.
On the other hand, Jesus promises a peace that is unlike that which the world gives. His peace is comprehensive and lasting and it is not based on something you do. His peace is a peace with God that has both objective and subjective elements.
Objectively, He gives peace with God that indicates a cessation of hostilities. In other words, He gives salvation. Subjectively, Jesus gives a peace that (while based on objective peace) means that the believer receives all of the benefits of God’s love and care for them.
As mentioned in Romans 8:28, this includes the knowledge that everything that happens to the believer in this life is meant for their good. But it also means that when the believer’s heart is rightly oriented toward God, their fears eventually subside and their inner turmoil is ultimately quieted.
Though practiced extensively in the past, the art of Christian meditation has fallen on hard times. It has largely been replaced by Eastern forms of meditation that encourage one to empty the mind.
Meditation that is specifically Christian, however, involves focusing the mind on some passage of Scripture or biblical teaching for an extended period of time, while free from distractions. Meditating on Bible verses for comfort in a time of loss can help you orient your thinking toward the God who can fill the empty space in your heart.
If you have suffered loss and are in the midst of grief, look for a trusted friend or pastor to help you carry the burden. If this is not possible, seek out a Christian counselor who can come alongside you and guide you through the grieving process and help you deal with the loss in a godly way.
“Couple”, Courtesy of Jacob Postuma, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “God’s Place”, Courtesy of Anthony Bevilacqua, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Hold On,” courtesy of Priscilla du Preez, cdn.magdeleine.co, CC0 Public Domain License; “Candles in the Round”, Courtesy of Mike Labrum, Unsplash.com, CC0 License