I didn’t fully understand the depths of grief until the year my family lost two sisters and a brother within eight months. My brother-in-law lost a five-year battle with cancer, my sister died an agonizing death from a toxic clash of prescribed medications, and my sister-in-law died suddenly from a triple brain aneurysm. Before 2010 I had a head knowledge of death, but afterward, I’d been baptized by fire. As one family member eloquently described, “I felt like my body had been cut open and all my happiness pulled out.”
God comforted us through those horrible days in many different ways. Friends made hospital visits and attended funerals. Distant relatives emailed sweet expressions of sympathy. Fellow church members sent cards and casseroles. Our greatest source of comfort, however, was the Bible verses we read in the days surrounding our loved ones’ deaths. Here are 10 verses we found especially meaningful.
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Scriptures Against Depression – Scriptures Against Worry – New Testament Scriptures on Faith & Believing – Do God’s Promises Cover What You Want?
Psalm 34:18 – The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. New Living Translation
Psalms 31:9 – O’ Lord have mercy on me in my anguish. My eyes are red from weeping; my health is broken from sorrow.
Psalms 147:3 – He heals the broken heartened, binding up their wounds.
Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
John 14:27 – I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give is not fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:18 – No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm-I will come to you.
Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.
Psalms 30:5b – Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
John 16:33 – I have told you these things so that you will have peace of heart and mind, Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, but cheer up, for I have overcome the world,
Proverbs 3:6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 – Brothers we don’t want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep: or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope.
2Thessalonians 2:16, 17 – May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting comfort and hope which we don’t deserve, comfort your hearts with all comfort, and help you in every good thing you say and do.
Isaiah 49:13b – For the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted.
Jeremiah 31:13 – I will turn their mourning into gladness. I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
2 Corinthians1:3-4 – What a wonderful God we have-He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.
Ecclesiastes3:1-4 – To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance
Psalm 25:16-18 – Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged. bring me out of my distresses. Look upon my afflictions and my trouble, and forgive my sins.
Psalm 23:4 – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil .for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
John 14:1-3 – Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. in My Father’s house are many mansions
Exodus3:7 – Then the Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying and am concerned about their sufferings.
1Samuel 1:15-17 – Hannah had a sorrowful spirit and poured out her soul unto the Lord……and God answered her petition.
2 Samuel 18:32-33 and 2 Samuel 19 – King David mourned over the death of his son Absalom and cried out to God.
Psalms 22:24 – For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one, He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
John 11:33-35 – When Jesus saw her weeping ….He groaned in spirit and was troubled. “Where have you lain him?” Jesus asked .They said unto Him, “Come and see.” Jesus wept.
Also, it is encouraging to read about what Heaven may be like in the 1898 classic Intra Muros – “My Dream of Heaven”
Book Overview – Read the Book Here
This book has stood the test of time and has a wide mainstream following. Many churches give it out as a comfort to grieving family members. Billy Graham wrote an introduction to one of the editions.
I didn’t fully understand the depths of grieving until the year my family lost two sisters and a brother within eight months. My brother-in-law lost a five-year battle with cancer, my sister died an agonizing death from a toxic clash of prescribed medications, and my sister-in-law died suddenly from a triple brain aneurysm.
Before 2010 I had a head knowledge of death. But afterward, I’d been baptized by fire. As one family member eloquently described, “I felt like my body had been cut open and all my happiness pulled out.”
God comforted us through those horrible days in many different ways. Friends made hospital visits and attended funerals. Distant relatives emailed sweet expressions of sympathy. Fellow church members sent cards and casseroles. Our greatest source of comfort, however, was the Bible verses we read in the days surrounding our loved ones’ deaths. Here are 10 especially meaningful verses from when we were grieving.
1. “He (Jesus) was… a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3 ESV)
This verse was meaningful to me because it reminded me that while no one on earth could understand my unique pain, Jesus could. Fully God and fully man, Jesus experienced the depths of human emotion during his time on earth so he could identify with our grief. Combined with John 11:35, where Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus, this verse gave me unshakeable proof that God was not only aware of my grief, but grieved with me.
RELATED: 4 Simple Prayers For The Grieving Heart
2. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle…”
“… You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)
I don’t understand the physiology of tears, but I know I shed a lot during my early days of grieving. I’d pick up the phone to call my sister-in-law and remember she was gone. I’d see a man with a Kenny Rogers beard like my brother-in-law and feel tears form. The empty chairs around our holiday table still makes me cry.
But even if I cried a river, Psalm 56:8 told me God would collect every one of my tears. The ones I blinked back, the ones I cried silently, and the ones that soaked my pillow in the middle of the night. Not a single tear escaped his notice. Each one was precious to him, because I was precious to him.
3. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”
“… I will fear no evil; For You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4 NIV)
This beloved verse reminds me that death is only a shadow. It passes over for a moment, but it cannot permanently hurt the believer. Eighteenth-century preacher Dwight L. Moody described it this way, “The valley of the shadow of death holds no darkness for the child of God. There must be light, else there could be no shadow. Jesus is the light. He has overcome death.”
4. “I go to prepare a place for you…”
“… If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2b-3 NIV)
Many believe death is the end of life, but Christians know it is the portal to eternal life. When Christ died on the cross and rose again, he went on ahead to prepare a place for us. I take great comfort in knowing my loved ones who are believers in Jesus are with him in a real place called heaven. Instead of mourning because I’ll never see them again, I can look forward to spending eternity with them in the presence of Jesus.
RELATED: 4 Lies Satan Will Use To Try To Deceive You In Times Of Darkness
5. “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death…”
“… so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NIV)
The hope of the resurrection is sometimes the only thing that keeps grief from utterly consuming us. As the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If we have set our hopes on the Messiah in this life only, we deserve more pity than any other people.” But we haven’t. The believer’s hope reaches far beyond our mortal lives. Christ didn’t come simply to give us a better life here on earth. He died and rose again to prove there is a resurrection for everyone who believes in him. Because of this, we can be hope filled, even in our sorrow.
6. “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body…”
“… and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV)
This verse, paired with the New Testament story of Jesus’ last hours on the cross, reassures me that as soon as my loved ones took their last breaths on earth, they took their first breaths in heaven. I don’t have to wonder if they’re languishing in some in-between holding place hoping to one day see Jesus. Like Christ told the thief on the cross when he placed his faith in him, “Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 NIV).
A beloved pastor once described death as walking from one room into the next. The moment my loved ones stepped out of the room called earth, they stepped into the room called heaven. And Jesus was waiting for them there.
7. “Precious in the sight of the Lord…”
“… is the death of his faithful servants.” (Psalm 116:15 NIV)
I discovered this powerful verse tucked in the middle of the book of Psalms in the days after my sister-in-law’s death. Now I write it in almost every sympathy card I send. Through it God says, Your loved one’s death is of infinite value to me. I see every detail. I am present in every agonizing moment. She’s not just one of thousands of souls entering eternity today; her passage is significant because it brings her home to Me.
RELATED: A Prayer for When You’re Hurting: 10 Verses of Comfort for Tough Times
8. “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption…”
“… and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?'” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55 NIV)
Following a stirring defense of Christ’s resurrection, the apostle Paul ends the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians with these triumphant words. It is the rallying cry for all believers. Like David the shepherd boy vanquished Goliath, it is a first-century, in-your-face celebration, saying to death, “Take that, arch enemy. Our conqueror has defeated you. He has trodden you in the dust, cut off your head, and waved it in victory. You may have wounded us, but ultimately, we win!”
9. “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. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:4-5 NIV)
The thought of Jesus wiping away my tears once and for all is a precious thought. Imagine a world where sorrow is banished and sickness, pain, and death have no home. Picture a place where sin’s curse has been removed. Where we’ll never again have to experience the agonizing pain of cancer, Alzheimer’s, or heart disease. No hospitals, cancer centers, funeral homes. Just health, joy, and peace.
10. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 NIV)
My pastor shared this verse with me during one of my darkest days. “Right now,” he said, “you feel like you’ll never be happy again, but you will. You may wonder if it’s okay, if your happiness somehow dishonors your loved one. Trust me, it doesn’t.”
He was right. In time, my family and I did smile again. Even in the midst of our grief. Sometimes we laughed through our tears at the silly things our loved ones had done or said. Other times we’d share a special memory or tell a story that made us feel close to them again. I discovered that there’s healing in tears, but there’s also healing in laughter. My pastor’s words gave me permission to experience them both in my journey through grief.
Lori Hatcher is a blogger, women’s ministry speaker, and author of the Christian Small Publisher’s 2016 Book of the Year, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women. A Toastmasters International contest-winning speaker, Lori’s goal is to help busy women connect with God in the craziness of everyday life. She especially loves small children, soft animals, and chocolate. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or Pinterest (Hungry for God).
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Being in the ministry my husband and I come in contact with many people who are grieved at the loss of a loved one. Bible verses for grief and grieving can be very helpful to have in your heart when someone asks why God would allow such grief in their lives. Sometimes it is just good to listen and say nothing, but when the opportunity presents itself, be prepared with these Bible verses for grief and grieving.
Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Table of contents
People Need Time to Grieve
Genesis 37:34-35 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.
Deuteronomy 34:8 And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
2 Samuel 12:16-17 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance
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.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Psalms 77:2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.
Psalms 119:92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
Proverbs 15:13-14 glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
Isaiah 41:10 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.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Believers Have a Blessed Hope
Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
Isaiah 51:11 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
1 Corinthians 15:54-55 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
Revelation 21:4 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.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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