This is one of the most prevalent issues in need of counseling!
The time for this information
This is for before the fact so that we can be in the frame of mind and have the right mind set. It is not impossible though if you are in the middle of a trial like this to gain the necessary perspective.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
Ecclesiastes 3:3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;
Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
Ecclesiastes 3:5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
Ecclesiastes 3:6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:17 I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”
Every one handles slightly differently; each in his own way and his own time.
longing, crying, dreaming of your loved one, anger, denial, sadness, despair, insomnia, fatigue, guilt, loss of interest, confusion and disorganization, disbelief, inability to concentrate, preoccupation with thoughts of your loved one, fleeting hallucinatory experiences, meaninglessness, withdrawal, avoidance, over-reacting, numbness, relief, sadness, yearning, fear, shame, loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness, emptiness, loss of appetite, weight gain.
5 stages of grief are not hard and fast. People do not go through them in that order; sometimes there is repetition; others skip steps; some do not go through it all (but not for the wrong reasons).
One of the keys though is to not become dejected and despondent depressed agonized beyond consolation — and most importantly, not to damage our relationship with God.
But life is hard, painful and full of suffering.
Job’s description of life – his life.
Job 7:16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone, For my days are but a breath.
Job 7:17 “What is man, that You should exalt him, That You should set Your heart on him,
Job 7:18 That You should visit him every morning, And test him every moment?
Job 7:19 How long? Will You not look away from me, And let me alone till I swallow my saliva?
Job 7:20 Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden to myself?
Job 7:21 Why then do You not pardon my transgression, And take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust, And You will seek me diligently, But I will no longer be.“
And then a loved one dies
Job 1:21 …. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
God has given us all of our relationships for a season. A child and parents are given for a time.
And when they die we mourn, the main reason for grieving for us. There are many other things that cause sorrow: regret, affliction, misfortune, trouble!
Jesus Our Example
Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
He went through more than any man
Isaiah 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;
Jesus had to Suffer
Hebrews 5:7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
- how to overcome sin
- stay obedient to God’s will even when it meant enduring pain and suffering
- learned what it is like to live with temptations of the flesh
- nothing of Himself
Christ Can Relate
Think about some of the situations that Jesus encountered:
- thoroughly tempted by Satan
- betrayed by Judas
- denied by Peter
- abandoned by His disciples
- rejected by the elders
- wrongfully accused by Leaders
- murdered by His people
- ultimately the Father turned His back on Him
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
If Jesus HAD to suffer, is it any surprise that we should have to as well?
We are to follow His example in everything – including suffering.
1 Peter 2:19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
1 Peter 2:22 “WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH”;
1 Peter 2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Now here is the hard part for a Christian: there is something for us to gain in our grieving, pain, sorrow
Separation is painful
We make connections and bonds and when they are severed we feel the pain;
Do we feel the same when we are separate from God?
Sin does this
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
Sin leads to death which can be a permanent separation from God
Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.
[the light of the world was dying]
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?“
There was a separation taking place
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us….
We have to do our part
We Consider Our Own Death
Psalms 39:4 “LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days , That I may know how frail I am. [do we consider the number of days that we have left and what we need to accomplish].
Psalms 39:5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
Psalms 39:6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.
Psalms 39:7 “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
It really is for a short time
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
2 Corinthians 4:18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
We Consider the Death of Others
We grieve for those that we love
Ezekiel 9:4 and the LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”
Jesus wept, but not for the reason you think
John 11:32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
John 11:33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.
John 11:34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
John 11:35 Jesus wept.
John 11:36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”
John 11:37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”
John 11:38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
John 11:39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
John 11:40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
John 11:42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”
John 11:43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”
John 11:44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Opportunity for Growth
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
Pain makes us take notice, but it should only be for a short time that we dwell on the problem.
Blame and regret and…. is looking backwards at the problem and punishing yourself for it (penance).
God’s way is (repentance; changing) moving forward towards a solution and goal.
As a Christian we cannot run away from but towards what God is teaching us. As a Christian we must trials analyze the trials that we are going through for the positive and not dwell on the negative aspects of it. Look to the future version of yourself and not the past sinful and problematic version.
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
Christ makes an interesting statement in:
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who mourn [this is happening in the present];
We can do this for ourselves and others. As we draw closer to God we understand more of what we have to mourn about within ourselves — Paul wrote of himself, “O wretched man that I am!”
Pain makes us take notice!
Ecclesiastes 7:2 Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart.
Ecclesiastes 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.
Ecclesiastes 7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
When we seek to mask pain through any means, then we do not learn from the pain. When everything is good, there is no need to change or learn anything else, except that we may want more of a hedonistic life style. This brings no deep and meaningful joy because it is an escape from reality.
Comfort in God
Now the other side of:
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
Why do they receive comfort?
When we have this pliable heart that is eager to change in a Godly way then….
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
2 Corinthians 1:7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.
2 Corinthians 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you. [I think this is how God sees it]
We see this in:
Psalms 116:1 I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications.
Psalms 116:2 Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
Psalms 116:3 The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow.
Psalms 116:4 Then I called upon the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!”
Psalms 116:5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.
Psalms 116:6 The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
Psalms 116:7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
Psalms 116:8 For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling.
Psalms 116:9 I will walk before the LORD In the land of the living.
Psalms 116:10 I believed, therefore I spoke, “I am greatly afflicted.”
This is so powerful to be able to see the end that is intended!
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Revelation 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”