Please read this note on Grief from a staff member at Hope for the Heart.
This week marks the 8-year anniversary since my father passed away. He was the best dad a son could ask for. My mom died when I was 16, and since then, my biggest fear was always losing my dad. Yet when my dad got sick with lung issues, the Lord drew close to him, to me, and to my family. My brother and I shared Scripture with him, prayed with him, and shared the gospel. In the final months of his life, my dad accepted Christ. There are simply no words to describe the gratitude and peace I have because of that.
But the grief remains.
Every so often, on anniversary dates … and when I watch my 3 little girls grow up way too fast … I miss my dad.
The Experience of Grief
I recently heard a quote about grief that said, “Grief is unexpressed love.” I think that’s true. We grieve the losses of our loved ones because of all the love we still have for them but cannot share with them … and we grieve the love they had for us that we no longer get to experience. Or … at least not experience for now. In Christ, we have the hope of seeing one another again.
The Bible says we are “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). Grief is kind of like that. Sorrow for the loss of our loved ones yet unspeakable joy in knowing the hope of eternal life in heaven in the presence of Jesus.
The Lord taught me so much through my grief with both my mom and dad. He taught me about the brevity of life, the importance of sharing Christ, the joy of family, the reality of His love, and perhaps most important … the hope of His promises .
The Hope of God’s Promises
I love how easy it is to find God’s promises and Bible verses on Grief in our Keys for Living book. I’ve shared these truths with my friends and family over the years. It’s always a great comfort to me to remember that Jesus is a “man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (Isaiah 53:3 NLT). He knows our pain, and He is with us in it.
If you’ve experienced a significant loss, I encourage you: Let God into your grief. Bring Him everything you’re thinking and feeling. Read His Word and embrace His promises. Cry. Pray. Journal. Talk about it. Sing through your grief. I know the Lord will meet you in it.
And if you know someone who is grieving, reach out to them. Share memories. Sit with them in silence or just listen if that’s what they need. I’m sure your presence means the world to someone.
Lastly, I encourage you to check out our book on Grief. It’s a simple way to be reminded of God’s promises and nearness in our grief – and how we can help others cope with loss.
Friend, we don’t grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). What a gift of the Lord! I pray He will meet you in your grief and use you to show His love to others.
Thanks for reading and God bless you,
Dustin Charles, staff member at Hope for the Heart
More Helpful Resources on Grief
Dig Deeper – Grief Video Course
- A digital companion guide – a downloadable workbook with notes and questions for further study and reflection
- “What is God’s Heart on Anger?” – a PDF from the Keys for Living book on Grief with helpful, biblical insights related to this topic